For some, the word ‘Botox’ is still charged with a certain stigma. Increasingly however, Botox represents a safe and reliable way to reduce those frown lines and look and feel, not just younger but also relaxed and more confident. For a number of reasons such as advances in treatment quality, recent years have seen a distinct departure from generally negative perceptions towards Botox.
Apart from Botox, a range of non-invasive facial rejuvenation techniques exist to lift your face, each loaded with changing social connotations and degrees of acceptability. For example, undergoing Botox may have been viewed ten years ago as a dangerous, vain and unnecessary indulgence that should be shrouded in secrecy. In contrast, attending a spa day, to enjoy an ‘age-defying’ facial was luxury pampering for hardworking women who deserved a day off.
So how have attitudes changed towards Botox since it’s initial surge in popularity over a decade ago? To what extent do men and women still feel the need to keep these lunchtime facelifts under wraps?
Botox in the Media
Dubbed ‘Botox’ for short, the protein and neurotoxin Botulinum toxin type A, as used in cosmetic procedures, makes up an industry worth around £18 million a year in the UK. Apart from helping to reduce the appearance of wrinkles Botox or other brands such as Azzalure and Bocouture that stem from the same neurotoxic protein, also help with treating muscle spasms, excessive perspiration and even migraines.
Some people may find it uncomfortable discussing treatment of real medical issues because it means admitting to physical imperfection, to accept that your body may no longer be in perfect condition. Similarly, discussion of Botox is sometimes seen not only as acknowledgement of the signs of ageing but also admission of self-confidence issues.
Some blame Hollywood and the media, firstly for raising expectations of beauty and youthful looking skin to impossible levels and secondly, for encouraging judgement of those who try to reverse the clock artificially. The contradictory manner in which the media demands flawless looks yet focuses wholeheartedly on ‘natural beauty’ could be partly to blame for our own feelings of inadequacy in this regard. Of course, throughout time physical beauty has been highly valued, but only with the advent of modern media (and digital enhancement) have we been exposed to what society deems ‘perfection’ in such high volumes.
While celebrities who naturally achieve a flawless complexion through a healthy diet continue to receive praise and admiration, the media no longer stigmatises those who need a little extra help through Botox or similar injectables. Why is this?
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