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Is Botox Smoothing Out Our Emotional Wrinkles?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Read an interesting news account today concerning a side-effect of Botox, When it's used to smooth away forehead wrinkles and between-the-eyes frown lines, apparently people not only LOOK less grumpy, they actually FEEL less grumpy.

Hmmmm. I've known for a long time that if I "put a smile on my face", I actually feel happier.

So why shouldn't the reverse be equally true? Eliminate the frowns, eliminate the bad mood?

And if that's the way Botox works, why should this be such a creepy idea?

I'm not sure. But maybe it has something to do with the fact that I CAN put a smile on my face and feel happier; but once I'm Botoxed I'm no longer choosing not to frown, I'm just incapable of frowning.

Are we just trying to persuade ourselves that it's a good idea to eliminate almost all negative emotion? Think of how often you've heard someone say in the last several years, "I'm just not comfortable with that . . . " as if no other explanation is required for declining to engage in the uncomfortable activity. In other words, we're entitled not to feel uncomfortable. Pretty much ever.

Whereas almost everything worth achieving involves tolerating discomfort, to some degree. Often to an extreme degree, actually. Weight loss certainly does. Weight loss maintenance even more so.

Does that thought put a frown on my face? Yup, sometimes.

But I'm really not looking to eliminate all discomfort. Because that would really eliminate a lot of meaningful achievement. I'm not ready to have that frown capacity Botoxed away . . . or all the laugh lines around my eyes either!! Guess I'm prepared to wear the face I've got. The body, too. By the time you get to be my age (61) , most of us have pretty much earned 'em both . . . the hard way.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
CARRAND 2/17/2013 8:35PM

    I can't imagine doing botox, although I have considered a face lift to deal with the excess skin on my neck. I just don't want my face to be frozen in place.

Positive and negative emotions are a part of life. We can try to emphasize the positive, but the negative are necessary sometimes, too.

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KALIGIRL 2/17/2013 1:51PM

    Amazing the 'side' effects of modern science....

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KANOE10 2/17/2013 9:45AM

    Interesting comments about people looking happier with botox. I am in the 60s also and am fine with my lines..and at times being in a state of discomfort.

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NANCY- 2/17/2013 9:12AM

    I'm still learning to love my character lines on my face. Thankfully since I now need reading glasses... those lines have a softened effect. That said Botox for beauty... I'd rather have my expressions. :)

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TRYINGHARD1948 2/17/2013 3:48AM

    Botox does have other uses too but I can understand both sides, those who don't and those that do. As a person severely affected by Bells Palsy I am very glad there is something that can help.

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PHOENIX1949 2/17/2013 12:48AM

    Dating myself -- I think of "The Stepford Wives" when I see people that have had LOTS of Botox.

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FREELADY 2/17/2013 12:41AM

    Great blog. I love to listen to you think.

Another element is that we'd be more shallow souls I think....much compassion and empathy comes from the emotions we've thrashed through ourselves.

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PHEBESS 2/16/2013 11:39PM

    Yup - I feel as if I've earned every line or wrinkle - and I'm not having poison pumped under my skin to kill them. No way. Because those lines around my mouth are from smiling at people. And those lines will just have to stay, since I'll keep on smiling.

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MJREIMERS 2/16/2013 9:51PM

    I'm not a fan of my smile lines or those wrinkles around my eyes or on my forehead, but I'm not a botox king of gal. I'll just keep using my wrinkle cream and keep wearing sunscreen.

I think wrinkles are kind of like a road map of our lives. Smile lines show we have had a happy life and I want to continue being "in control" of my "physical emotions," too. Good blog. Thanks.

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BOOKAPHILE 2/16/2013 8:28PM

    I'd rather be in control of what my face shows to the world than have it be a frozen mask. Thanks for a thought provoking blog.

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CRYSTALJEM 2/16/2013 8:24PM

    There's discomfort with payback and discomfort where others benefit but we don't. I think sometimes we lump it altogether and try on avoid it all. I agree that discomfort is often required to move forward. Think of being born. Fair bit of discomfort there, but well worth it.

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BROOKLYN_BORN 2/16/2013 7:29PM

    I agree with you, Fortunately, no need for Botox here. I have bangs.

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SLENDERELLA61 2/16/2013 6:56PM

    Brilliant blog! You are so right. I don't want my ability to frown to be botoxed away. I love to give my grandkids encouraging, happy looks; but then they need that "you better not" look sometimes, too, you know!! -Marsha

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_LINDA 2/16/2013 6:48PM

    Yes, you are the all natural human model, the one you were born with, and looking fantastic too! No artificial enhancements needed!
Here are to the Lines of Love, Life and Laughter!

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MEADSBAY 2/16/2013 6:35PM

    Imagine how boring life would be without the normal ups and downs of our emotional life!

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ONEKIDSMOM 2/16/2013 6:31PM


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NITTINNANA 2/16/2013 6:12PM

    Can't say I'm thrilled about my wrinkles, but I'd never do Botox. I agree that we'd best be able to feel and express all the negative emotions that come our way. Well, within reason, of course - I would hope we wouldn't throw any tantrums reminiscent of a 2 year-old!

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DONNACFIT 2/16/2013 6:06PM

    I agree with you..I'd never get could I possibly show disapproval ?

I wear my wrinkles proudly as a life well lived!! The good with the bad!!

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NANCYPAT1 2/16/2013 6:05PM

    I am with you. It is NICE that WE can change our moods by putting a smile on our faces - but I don't want someone else to take that right away from me. Also there are some things we probably OUGHT to feel sad, mad, upset, unhappy about - I don't think that a perpetual smile will erase the pain of my son's death, of the loss of a beloved pet, of being jilted. Learning to DEAL with those emotions is a HEALTHY NORMAL PART OF LIFE. Thanks for sharing this post.

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