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Botox or Bangs

“We carry around so much in our lives, so much anxiety and stress, to have one less thing is, honestly, a blessing.” - Stephanie Witherspoon

As women, we’re often in the crosshairs of competing directives. We’re bombarded with images emphasizing youth and beauty while we’re also implored to accept ourselves and to age gracefully. It’s a Catch 22. You feel slightly bad about the onset of aging and slightly bad if you decide to do something about. I’d even used to joke with friends, “it’s either Botox or bangs!” The problem with all of this, of course, is how focused it is on external judgments. Why did I feel like I needed to give myself permission?

I knew I did want Botox. I’d find myself in the bathroom mirror pulling on my forehead until the creases were smoothed away; feeling both my skin and spirit sag whenever I released my hand. How many times did I relive this little disappointment? How many mirrors did I pass in quiet judgment?

The procedure itself is laughingly simple given all my hand-wringing over whether to do it. My clinician, Tracie, was easy-going and listened carefully to my concerns. The actual treatment took less than 5 minutes. Less time than it takes to get a latte. Way less time than it takes to grow out bangs.

My results are subtle, as subtle as the dissatisfaction I’d been carrying around with me all this time. It’s not so much that Botox gave me something, more that it removed a faintly unpleasant feeling I couldn’t quite place. We carry around so much in our lives, so much anxiety and stress, to have one less thing is, honestly, a blessing. I feel lighter. I pass mirrors now and feel the absence of judgment which gives me a newfound confidence; a hair's-breadth increase of happiness. All I had to do to get it was five minutes and the permission to not care what anybody else thinks.

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