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October 15, 2008

Why Are Moms in their thirties Already Hitting up Their Dermatologists for Botox Injections?

J0292556 I was recently out to lunch with a bunch of friends; all of us moms over thirty five- some of us pushing forty and out of the six of us, four were currently getting regular Botox injections every three months at $500 a pop. I actually braved the Staten Island Ferry and was ready to hop on a subway- when I decided to throw caution to the wind and get in a cab instead (of course that was a big mistake- as there was so much traffic and the ride cost me almost as much as lunch did!).

Of course yours truly has never had a Botox injection, but it probably has more to do with my aversion to having someone stick a long pointy needle in my face than because I'm trying to make a statement about wanting to grow old and keep my wrinkles, frown lines, laugh lines and crows feet as badges of honor- testament to the years I’ve put in on this planet. (Of course the other reason being that this bleak economic period we’re mired in has also got me hoarding every last one of my pennies-none of which I’m at liberty to part with- especially for a temporary wrinkle fix!)

Sitting in that swanky NYC restaurant-surrounded by baby-faced, still wet-behind the ears twenty something girls-I realized I didn't long to trade places with any of them, and trying to recapture and chase down that dewy, unspoiled  youth is kind of tragic. Not just because that fountain of youth is simply unattainable-- and can have you looking like Shauna Sand if you're not careful- but it's a slippery slope that you'll never reach the summit of.

I guess the reason why Hollywood actresses give birth to a baby- and one month later are red-carpet ready looking as though they were indeed never pregnant at all (oh yeah- it's because they're all breastfeeding so much- or running around--wink, wink!) or those actresses whose mouths have been pulled so tight you wonder how they ever manage to part their lips, is because their earning power and value is so heavily dependent on their physical appearance.

And before I thought there were no last vestiges of real- women in Hollywood- I caught a glimpse of one of my all-time favorite actresses Amy Madigan- and all I could say was WOW! I'm not sure what her chronological age is- I'm guessing probably somewhere in her fifties, but this broad is keeping it real. And when she plays a psychiatrist, on Grey's Anatomy, or a middle-aged working -class Bostonian in Gone Baby Gone, she is simply riveting- because every last bit of her performance is steeped in reality down to her very real wrinkles and laugh lines. They're hers- she's earned them and when she speaks, you really believe her, because you can relate to her she's really just like you.

I'd be lying just a little bit if I said I never look in the mirror and wince (ever so slightly ) when I see those two lines between my eyebrows embed themselves ever more permanently into my face. And then I think of those twenty something girls whose conversations which I casually eavesdropped on were basically filled with so many what if's and uncertainties, about their relationships and their careers, and of Amy Madigan in all her I am woman glory and I feel hopeful that being in your late thirties and aging is exactly where and who I want to be.

Melissa Chapman-Mushnick is the Family Editor of the Single Moms Channel at Single Minded Women, writes a weekly column, Kids in the City for the Staten Island Advance, and blogs at Fun Science Stuff.

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