The one-size-fits-all philosophy simply doesn’t apply to self-care. Some love the stillness of acupuncture and meditation while others want wine and Netflix at the end of a long week. Many find their center by doing absolutely nothing. Personally, I believe that whatever makes me feel good counts: my 10-step skincare routine, listening to the “Not Another True Crime Podcast,” impromptu steam facials when I strain pasta over the sink, and perhaps the most controversial, getting Botox.
I won’t lie—trying Botox at 22 years old and being honest about it on social media was a nerve-wracking experience. For as long as I could remember, the negative social impact seemed to get more press than the positive. If I did take the plunge and indulge my desire for baby Botox, cruel Instagram comments and convos with passive-aggressive skeptics were likely. Thankfully, the blowback of officially going public didn’t sting too much; especially since the majority came from people who didn’t bother to read past the headline. If anything, I felt an unfortunate camaraderie with those who shared similar experiences and were targeted more harshly.
I know pledging allegiance to Botox in your early twenties is antifeminist in some people’s brains, but in mine, it feels like anything but. I’m more than happy with my decision, but it’s admittedly frustrating to feel as though it requires an explanation. It probably would’ve been easier to share the problem and keep the solution to myself, but it’s a confidence-killer I know plenty of others deal with, and I wanted to come clean.
It probably would’ve been easier to share the problem and keep the solution to myself.
Due to genetics and tanning without sunnies, I’ve had deeply sunken lines between my forehead and brows for years. Normally, this is something that starts around, say, my mother’s age, but my static lines arrived before the ripe age of 20. Even with a stringent skincare routine, tons of water and plenty of my favorite Drunk Elephant sunscreen, I kept a damp beautyblender on hand to absorb whatever burrowed in those cracks throughout the day.
Whenever I felt my forehead squishing together from squinting at the sun or my computer screen (I’m StyleCaster’s full-time graphic designer), I’d go as far as trying to flatten the folded skin with my fingers. It got old, so I made a decision that I knew would look good, but more importantly, feel good to me.
Before I even took it to the ‘Gram, the reactions to my act of voluntary toxin injections ran the gamut. My boyfriend, not fully understanding what Botox was, thought I was getting “lip fillers” in my forehead (LOL). Cluelessness aside, I’m grateful to be with someone who makes me feel beautiful, Botox or not, and is supportive of my decision.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but using it to shame another’s choices is where I draw the line.
My mother, on the other hand, wasn’t completely on board. She was understandably nervous about her daughter getting poked and prodded with needles without having every single detail about the process. But once she saw my results, she swiftly booked an appointment for herself.
In the end, everyone is entitled to an opinion, but using it to shame another’s choices is where I draw the line (pun intended). And in an era where empowerment is supposed to be grounded in feminism and self-love, it seems old habits die hard and slow. So starting now, if anyone asks why I got Botox at 22, I won’t use it as an opportunity to tell someone else to do the same. I also won’t say it’s because I want to look forever young. I’ll simply say I did it because I wanted to. And if that helps someone else to stand confidently in their choices, even better. End of story.
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