BOTOX and The Wrinkle I Stare At
I have a friend named Mrs. Frown, she lives upon my head. I used to hate her. In fact, my husband has rolled his eyes a hundred times at my complaints.
And yet, there I was, on this app, this thing called Instagram, listening to some of my favourite bloggers/influencers say something to the effect of, “I’ve started doing preventative botox…” And my heart sank. I literally felt miserable. And NOT out of judgment. That’s not what I am trying to express, because I understand the draw, the attraction, the fear of becoming unwanted and less beautiful—that’s what it’s about, right???
Since when did a wrinkle on your face make you less attractive? Why is so much focus still put on our outside? I have to ask myself questions, like, Who are you trying to impress? And then I remind myself, Your husband thinks you’re beautiful, your family and friends think you’re beautiful, because they know you. They know you on the inside, and that’s what matters.
Still, knowing all this, my heart sank. What chance do I have in a world full of 26-year-old girls getting botox? I am going to be really truthful: I thought really hard about getting it done, and then I looked at my daughter and I imagined what I would tell her when she asked, Why do all of mommy’s wrinkles need to go away? I didn’t have a good answer.
Botox is literally taking the years, the pain AND the joy, and wiping them off your face. It is paralyzing your ability to hold and pass on your life story. My deep desire is to show Freya with my own face and body that beauty lies deep within every wrinkle, every stretch mark, every sag. Beauty lies in every heart. It is not found in some impossible, artificial standard that says you have to look a certain way.
I want to be clear: I’m not raging against every kind of cosmetic surgery, treatment, or procedure. There are many ways to express yourself authentically without making yourself fit someone else’s idea of what you should look like. There are many ways to heal, restore, and reinforce our natural beauty. But I resist anything that promises to make me more beautiful without first accepting me the way I am. I resist anything that says, “You will be loved, if…” instead of, “You are loved. Period.” Those kinds of “beauty” are liars peddling the emptiness of false promises. They will cut you up, incapacitate you, and spit you out for a few moments of hollow applause before the façade starts to melt off on their cruel and unforgiving stage.
That’s not beauty. That’s not life. That’s not love.
We would like to believe we’ve come so far. Yet the thief of joy—comparison—would tell you otherwise. In a world full of filters and perfectly edited photos, we forget that it’s all a dim reflection of reality. I’m bringing wrinkles back! I’m bringing back a life grown into! A life where we stretch and move and gain wisdom. A life where we live and embody beauty, and then we pass it down to the next generation instead of looking enviously upon their youth. This is an on-going struggle for me and a giant I intend on taking down whenever he threatens me or the ones I love. OF COURSE, take care of your skin and treat yourself well, but that includes the things you say to yourself. Here is a list of things I say to myself whenever I am feeling down. You can use them if you want, or you can create your own.
YOU ARE GOOD
You are smart and able to do whatever you put your mind to.
When others see your heart, they see your real beauty.
You are uniquely you, and you don’t have to look, act, or be like anyone else.
You are worthy of love and affection.
You are a powerful person. You can affect the people around you for good and thereby affect the world for good!
One day, you will be a wrinkly old lady who is full of wisdom and who glows with beauty because you decided to love who you are.
I realize this is a loaded subject for so many woman. All of us. Not one of us is immune to it. When I was in high school, I was nearly anorexic. I was basically addicted to working out and I would starve myself all week and then binge on the weekends. I was really unhealthy. Praise God I am no longer there, but I am ever aware that the obsession to be “perfect” to be “beautiful” or feel depressed because I don’t feel “beautiful” is always there. The option is always on the table, but it’s our turn to say NO. The more we say no, the more women around us and coming after us can say no. Let’s do it for ourselves. Let’s do it for our daughters and let’s do it for our granddaughters. We are all beautiful.