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Dina Gachman Headshot

An Open Letter to Botox

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Dear Botox,

Allow me to introduce myself, since we have not yet formally met. How do you do? I'm a woman in my thirties. You don't know me, but obviously I know all about you since you're pretty popular these days. You probably feel real good about that with your shiny magazine ads and your mainstream acceptance. Good for you.

I admit that you frighten and intrigue me, in a Frankenstein sort of way. The first time I saw you in action was on the first season of The Real Housewives of Orange County. One of the crazy blonde women went to get her injections and they showed it on TV for the world to see. It really wasn't pleasant or pretty, but this woman just sat back as if she were getting a nice hot stone massage or a soothing cucumber mask. It's really not normal for people to have needles poked into their forehead so they can look younger and more like a billboard person, rather than like a gross normal person. Well, I guess it's normal now. You've really made a name for yourself.

Of course, I know people who know you. You're like Kevin Bacon in liquid form. Friends, relatives, co-workers -- they've dabbled. I don't blame them, who the hell wants to get old and wrinkled and sad looking? Seeing your first wrinkles really blows and only actual hippies and people who attend Earth Day events each year or live on farms in Finland truly grow old gracefully. This isn't a scientific fact about people and their attitudes toward aging, but I'm pretty certain of its merit. Unfortunately I don't attend Earth Day events. I'm not sure I'll ever embrace the whole distinguished grey thing and when the time comes I'll dye the hell out of my hair to hide that oh-so-obvious sign that, like the rest of humanity, I'm on the downslide. Maybe at seventy or so I'll have a real awakening and go full silver. That'll be a nice moment I bet. I look forward to it.

Even though this whole Botox craze seems like a blessing it's really not. Maybe a few tweaks here and there look OK and I'm not here to judge, but too much of a good thing is going to wind up filling our cities and towns (probably not farms, though) with people who literally can't smile! As a kid, my mom followed me around yelling, "You need to smile more! If you frown you'll get wrinkles!" I guess you've made that bit of Southern wisdom pretty irrelevant.

I don't want to get to know you intimately or even casually. Time will tell if one day I just can't take it and I find myself comfortably leaning back in a chair somewhere as a doctor pokes needles in my forehead and we gab about the weather and the merits of Skinny Girl Margaritas as if this was just all so normal. Truly, I don't want that to happen. I'd like to avoid you like the plague for my entire existence. I'm going to try. So what I was a serious kid and probably didn't smile as much as I should have. Back then I thought reading Goethe was fun entertainment. I know better now and thankfully have replaced Goethe with things like 30 Rock, so I smile a ton now and it's real. I'd like to pledge a solemn oath that I'll never give in to your weird, backwards charms but, damnit... who knows. I'm only human. But I'm gonna try my very best...

Yours,

A Woman in her Thirties