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To Botox or Not to Botox

By Amalah

Hi Amy,
I’ll cut right to the chase here: What are your thoughts on Botox? I will be 40 this year, and I have noticed, one by one, my friends are starting to succumb to the lure of Botox, and dammit, it looks good. This would be so much easier for me if it didn’t work, but it really does. And now everyone around me is reverse-aging, and here I am, the only one left who looks her age. Cheaters!
I’m on the fence. Morally, I want to believe I am so above Botox because it’s what on the inside that counts, but truth be told, I’m as vain as the next girl. So I sort of want it, but I don’t want to want it. I guess I’m looking for some guidance, and who better to ask than my favorite beauty guru? Is Botox something you yourself would consider at forty? Is my naturally lined face going to be as eccentric and quirky as gray hair?

I’m of…hmm….seven different minds about Botox, give or take a mind. Like you, I want to think that I am and will always be above the stuff, because EW. And like you, I’m vain as hell and often sigh loudly at the sight of my crow’s feet and was the spot in between my eyebrows always this squishy?
But then I think…BOTULISM. INJECTED INTO YOUR FACE. HOW DID THIS BECOME A GOOD IDEA? And I look at photos of frozen-faced over-injected celebrities with inflated trout-pout lips and think that I’d rather take the wrinkles.
But THEN, like you, I see women who have had it done well (read: by a professional and not over-done) and hey, they look great and seem happy with it and I CAN appreciate the difference between a shot of Botox and a surgical face-lift…plus I’ve already informed my husband that after I’m done birthing 10-pound babies he’s treating me to a tummy tuck and I was only sort-of halfway kidding about that.
So in the end, I am still not entirely sure how I feel about Botox, other than a tepid never say never, no matter how easily that word might fall out of my mouth now. It’s just not on my radar right now and I’m happy to not have to think about it that much. If, in 10 or 15 years, Botox is still common and there haven’t been any horrific reports of death doom destruction that have resulted in the stuff being yanked off the market entirely, I suppose I could see myself…possibly maybe thinking about it.
In the meantime, I harbor absolutely no uppity judgement for any woman who decides to try it out…deep down, yes, I do wish we could all flip the collective bird to the youth-worshipping culture and feel absolutely no need to artificially iron out the lines from our foreheads. I also wish we could all look like the fabulously needle-free Helen Mirren, while we’re at it.
So…eh? Don’t get it done just because your friends are having it done, lest you force me to drag out the “if your friends all jumped off a bridge to test the buoyancy of their 36DDD implants” metaphor. Don’t get it done because you’re afraid your husband will pick up a Spitzer habit if you don’t, and for the love of God, don’t get it done by some random guy at your neighbor’s next Tupperware party. Remember that there IS such a thing as too firm and too youthful. Remember that a fabulous $400 handbag will last a lot longer than two to six months.
…and that $400 could also pay for the education of 100 students in Ethiopia or the training of 10 teachers in Afghanistan, in case you’d like the issue to be just a tad more loaded and morally shaming.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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