What Does It Take To Be Drop Dead Gorgeous?

I've always told my kiddos, "A butt is a butt, they are all cracked." Tacky? You'll have to ask them. They grew up to be VERY conservative, so it must have done some good. I was simply cutting the edge off of all the insatiable focus the media put on just what our back sides are supposed to look like. Give me a break.

Honestly, folks, I get weary of "how" we are supposed to look...defined by Hollywood. Why can't we be content like the puppy dog draped in bolts of wrinkles?

And what measure will we take to look "gorgeous"? Hopefully we won't drop dead while en route!

You know, Botox those wrinkles away and blow your lips up no matter how bizarre they look, tummy tuck your fat, remove that arm hang, lift those buttocks, build your breast for self-esteem. I've heard it all. And is anyone really any happier when it's all said and done? NO. We are always going to come up wanting. Wanting more.

Side Note: Have you ever noticed how we Caucasians are forever trying to look like African Americans? We want darker skin to the point of danger, we want pronounced cute tushes, we want full lips to the point of looking like something from a distant planet, and often we want natural curly hair so we chemical our way there. Have I stirred your emotions?

What's In A Survey?

Have you heard about the survey of women taken just a year or so ago asking their thoughts on cosmetic changes? The highest percentage of them were adamantly opposed to cosmetic surgeries, etc. but when asked how many of them alter their looks with make-up, the percentages were just as high.

Is that hypocrisy? A little bit of paint may not be so bad for the barn, but reconstructing it with a dangerous foundation might be another matter.

Let's Take A Closer Look Into Our Faces. If You Dare.

The hottest product on the "street" today is Botox.

I can't even walk into my mother's doctor's geriatric office with out seeing signs screaming at me to get a Botox treatment. Then there is the hair salon. Sign-ups are at the front desk. Sign-up for a Botox party. And if that isn't enough, I am getting Botox invites in the mail from my fav dress boutique? Where does this end?

Just What Is This Fountain Of Youth Gig?

Botox is the brand name for botulinum toxin A, the poisonous bacterium that causes botulism and in large doses, can be fatal.

Did You Know?

Recently, I read that botulinum toxin is the most deadly poison known to humanity. "Molecule for molecule, it's a billion times more toxic than cyanide." (Dermatologist, Alastair Carruthers from Vancouver; Allure 2007)

The treatment is supposed to use highly diluted amounts of the toxin. It is injected into the facial muscles whose over activity produces skin wrinkles, often prematurely. It weakens the muscle at the entry point, weakening its ability to contract which in turn supposedly smooths out the skin.

Are There Lines Botox Won't Cross?
it's noted that in cases of wrinkles caused by sun exposure, smoking, or the natural aging process, Botox is unlikely to help.

What Other Uses Does Botox Claim?

  • Eye-muscle disorders (approved, 1987)

  • Excessive sweating (unofficial uses)

  • Thwarting migraine headaches (unofficial uses)
  • Depression (unofficial uses)

Is it FDA Approved?
Yes, as of April, 2002, the FDA okayed it for cosmetic use (to treat frown lines). Since then, it's continued to be the most sought after cosmetic procedure in the U.S. .

Initially it was used to "freeze" everything. The brakes are on "...now that we know the point is to make movement more natural, symmetrical and softer." (Doris Day, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at NY University)

How Popular Is It?

Before being FDA approved for cosmetic procedures, 1.6 million shots were dispensed in the U.S., according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Causing it to be the most popular cosmetic procedure used. In 2006, more than 3 million people lined up for a hit.

Why Do We Do It?

  • We claim we want to look better.
  • We want to be more accepted.
  • We want to get better jobs as they are awarded to younger people.
  • We want the opposite sex to notice us.
  • We want the same sex to notice us.
  • We want to defy life and death.
  • We want to look like we once did.
  • We want, we want, we want.

Who Benefits?
For sure the company Allergan, the Irvine, CA based manufacturer for the drug. I read in 2007 that stated they were given the go ahead to launch a $50 million marketing campaign. Tell me it's not about money, folks. How much are they spending in 2008? (Allure, 2007) By the way, they are being questioned about misrepresenting the data they have on the drug. (Dr. Arnold Klein-lawyers and settlements.com)

Fredrick Brandt, a New York-Miami based dermatologist began using it in 1993. In 2007, he was the world's largest Botox consumer and injects up to 30 patients a day. That's $15,000 a day with ease.

How Long Does Botox Keep The Wrinkles Away?

Temporarily. About three to four months. Then it's back for more injections of the toxin. The question is how long does the toxin stay in your body?

Cost For This Quick Fix?
On average, about $400-500. Which means at least $1,200- $2,000 a year. Does this mean for one set of wrinkles or your whole face?

Are There Concerns From Experts?

YES!!!! What are they?

  • Unrealistic expectations.

  • Unqualified providers.

  • Inappropriate settings (like home parties)

  • Aesthetic plastic surgeons are concerned because Botox creates an avenue for doctors who are not qualified to make a mint. Why? Some patients are NOT candidates for Botox and most doctors are not able to know the difference.
  • Doctors are enticed because they can make $500 with an injection over $500 for an operation. How easy is that to figure? You know which one most of them are going to elect to perform.

  • Reseach shows that when tested in rats, within 72 hours of the injection (whisker muscles), the toxin was found in the brain of the rats. The toxin moved from one end of their brains to the other breaking down proteins and causing damage. The toxin was found up to six months AFTER the injection. The toxin also caused brain cell activity to be disturbed. (Journal of Neuroscience, April, 2)

  • Public Citizen, an American watchdog group has solicited the FDA to increase the warnings on Botox. PC reported that from 1997-2006 there were 658 known cases of patients experiencing adverse affects after being injected with b.t. and 180 of those suffered severe reactions. There were 16 deaths in the U.S.. Due to lack of data, PC estimates that these numbers only account for 10 percent of all cases. (The Daily Green, ABC NEWS Jan. 2008 )

The Risks of Botox?

  • Putting toxin in your body, no matter how much you convince yourself it's in small doses. Is it worth the risk?

  • Even when administered by skilled physicians there are risks, imagine what you are asking for when you let someone who is not skilled. Is it worth the risk?

  • The facial anatomy is ever so delicate and intricate. Is is worth taking the risk?
  • Too much Botox in the wrong area can cause distortions such as droopy eye-lids and raised eye-brows to loss of facial expression. Is it worth the risk?

  • Then there is the risk of sterility. Remember needles are involved. Is it worth it?

  • And if you have alcohol in your body you increase the possibility of bleeding more, which can cause the drug to travel to unintended locations. Note: some of these "parties" include wine and hordevores as a perk. Is it worth the risk?

The American Board of Plastic Surgery Cautions and Suggests:

  • While the procedure is typically quick and slightly invasive, there are still risks as it is a medical procedure.

  • Check Credentials. Is your doctor certified by the ABP's or other renowned society, and experienced in facial cosmetic surgery.

  • Get Evaluated. There should be a full medical history and eval from you by the doctor.

  • Be Informed. Is your doctor clearly explaining all potential benefits and risks. I bet they do this as to protect their rear ends. They won't leave this one out.

  • Discuss Your Decision. Share your thoughts with your family and friends. Do your own research.

  • Stay sober. Your choices may be altered under the influence.

  • Stay sterile. Botox injections should be performed in a setting with appropriate medical personnel and safety equipment on hand.

A Example Of A Failed Attempt To Cross Out The Lines:
Some say this is what caused Priscilla Presley's newest "look". And is it a look. I don't think Elvis would recognize her as the once beautiful young lady he fell in love with. I always thought she was one of the most gorgeous women I had ever seen. My heart sank when I saw her distorted face a year or so ago. I was in shock.

I had the opportunity to speak with one of Elvis' life time friends and body guard, and he confirmed that she looked worse even in person. He just shook his head in disbelief at the risk she took to looker younger. Yes, regardless, if someone else messed up, she was still the one who made the decision to take the risk.

An Example Of Lines Not Being Crossed

On a brighter note, if you happen to see Billy, The Early Years, it was refreshing to see Lindsey Wagner's untouched aging graceful face. Is it hard to see the process of life worn on the faces of those we once held in our minds as beautiful? Probably. But that is our dysfunction. We don't value the process of life. We don't properly define beautiful.

For me, Ms Wagner looked as though she had embraced life, while Ms Presley obviously tried to beat it and it slammed dunked her.

By the way, Priscilla was born in 1945 and Lindsey in 1949.

Not Double Lines But Double Standards
Why is that we can so readily accept men having lines and wrinkles, yet we are so aghast when we see older women aging with the same denominator? Ladies, WE are a part of the social ill in this country. We contribute to it with our continued need to look ageless. We weren't designed to look 20 and 30 years old at 50 and on.

Who Let The Secret Out?
Face it (pardon the pun), but all the treatment in the world is really not going to change how we look. We become laughable. Why do we pride ourselves in augmenting our bodies when it's clearly obvious. "Oh, she had a face lift." "Wow, her lips are sure blown-up." What about that is appealing? I can't figure it out. Maybe you can help me. I'm open.

Do I believe in taking care of ourselves? No question. But what does that look like? For me, it doesn't appear it's going under a scalpel, or in this case injecting poison into my body. Why do we not value age? We are a reckless generation living in a narcissistic society.

What Are The Lines To Be Drawn If Not Erased?
So where do we draw lines? Find the balance? Probably when we start looking like someone else. Or better yet, when we start looking like someone the cat just dragged in after a major cat fight. And when we are compromising our health by using toxins to rearrange our face.

Some would argue that I'm not seeing things clearly. I wish that were so when I'm looking square in the face of a once normal looking woman who now I'm trying to guess what possessed her to think her fake lips are inviting.

Too, we seem to do so much with men in mind. That is a fact. So listen to the male response. They will always be drawn to the natural look. Just ask them.

My View
Would I like to stay young looking all of my life? Sure. But that is not reality. It's certainly not maturity. And it's by far shallow. It's a lack of acceptance. The acceptance of time. Of who we are. I want to be able to look myself in the face every morning. Figuratively and in this case literally. I want to recognize the person who's looking back at me.

Do You?!

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