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So it finally happened. Almost.

One of the very beautiful presenters on our show appeared a few months ago with her skin even more creamy-perfect than usual. She looked radiant. When asked her secret, she was brazen about it; she had just gone for her first course of botox injections, a bargain at £180 for two areas of the face. She's 26.

I couldn't stop looking at that smooth face. See, everyone knows I take my writing seriously - but TV work? It's hard to see myself as any kind of success in this field, not least because all my rivals for work are going to look like her or better.

Now in general I'm OK nick, but since my teens, my forehead's had a few deep wrinkles. I couldn't understand it. I thought it was hereditary as my mum and her mum had exactly the same, particularly the vertical line between my eyes. Does it show? Two friends from the station have been very candid with me: 'Yes, it does. But it's not the first thing noticed. Up close, it looks like a small deep scar...'

So I got the name of Miss DreamyCreamy's botoxist(?), and made my way today to Harley Street for a consultation. Miss DreamyCreamy had looked at the vertical wrinkle and said, 'Boy that's deep! Botox won't work on that, you'll need dermal filler!' The specialist, on examining it, disagreed.

'Are you a very expressive person?' He said, 'Always laughing or crying, face always doing something? Always been this way since you were little?'

I said yes.

'And was your mother sad a lot of the time?'

Again, affirmative.

'And I bet you noticed these lines when you were in your teens or early twenties?'

Right again.

'These aren't wrinkles and they're not hereditary. You saw your mother frown and imitated her. These are expression lines...it's pointless and expensive to put dermal filler in these. All you need to do at this point in your life is train your muscles to stop frowning. We do that with botox.'

I looked unhappy and asked for more details.

'Botox paralyses the muscles. Your first course won't last for more than three months, but as you go on, your muscles will stop trying to knit into that permanent frown. There will be top ups but fewer as you go on. Yes there will be a line, but a very fine one. These others... he pointed at the horizontals above my eyebrows...these are more difficult, because, placed too high the injections can create new ripples, a kind of Jack Nicholson look. But in exactly the right place, on that line, the paralysis will mean your eyebrows drop slightly. You will lose that permanently surprised look you have...'

I have a surprised look? He bade me look at his own face, this good looking man of about 25. '34,' he corrected me, 'I've had everything I'm recommending to you; my advice is to start with chemical peels to brighten your skin, combined with baby botox to soften the lines without losing expression, except for the centre of the forehead where we inject straight into the muscle (Isn't that my brain? I didn't dare ask...) Check up and top up in two weeks. We keep doing it until your muscles get out of the habit of frowning, a few years later perhaps dermal fillers and facial fillers, and when you are very much older, plastic surgery. But this is at least 10/20 years down the line, if then...you are in very good condition considering how long you have been ignoring your skin.'

Holy crap. I asked him to waggle his eyebrows. He did, but not much. He told me more, put no pressure on me and I left, having had nothing done. Because I don't know, you see. Yes I want to have creamy perfect skin sans lines or whatever. But that permanently surprised expression? I kind of like it. It's a part of me. I'm not ready to lose it.

Time for a bath I think, to relax me, eyebrows et al. And not a mad cow in sight...


( 33 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 15th, 2010 06:18 pm (UTC)
What in the name of Jim Dale..?
You don't need botox, polyfiller, grout or anything like that, Oh Clotty One. Ask that nice Mr larians. He'll back me up on this.

Edited at 2010-02-15 06:27 pm (UTC)
Feb. 16th, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC)
Re: What in the name of Jim Dale..?
Thank you matron, he does indeed.

The head grout will have to wait for another day!
Feb. 15th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC)
Oh this is fascinating, thank you for posting it. Every now and then I dream of getting my nose done, but then I think - will I look like someone else? How would that even feel? And so I wimp out.
Plus I'm a wimp and broke, so it's not likely any day soon. But the desire to correct, to perfect, to *solve* my face is strangely present.
I say strange, because I don't do a damn thing about correcting my bodyfat percentage, and I could do some of that without actually spending any cash at all!
Feb. 16th, 2010 03:37 pm (UTC)
It's strange, how one becomes defined by one's peculiarities. Perfect beauty isn't always interesting. Sometimes our flaws make us, and we don't need correcting.

I recently had my fringe cut short, above the vertical line between my eyes making it very obvious. After a works do, a drunken colleague came up to me, eyeballed the line sadly and said, in a voice soft as whispers, 'Did someone hurt you there?' touching it like a man might stroke a terrible wound.

For days after my beauty regime included spirit gumming my forehead high on either side to stretch the skin, then covering the line with spirit gum, then putting foundation over the top and 'whiting' out the line with a special stage make up pen. The line was nigh invisible, but under my fringe I was a klingon!

(no subject) - blackcurrants - Feb. 16th, 2010 03:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Beings of prose - smokingboot - Feb. 16th, 2010 03:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 15th, 2010 07:39 pm (UTC)
I did think people got botox to ACHIEVE a permanently surprised expressed. If you are blessed with one to start with you've just saved a few bob :)

I have the same vertical lines above my nose and I have mulled the idea of botox at some point, if my darling mum is anything to go by our eyes and foreheads age 15 years ahead of anything else on our bods.

Keep us posted!
Feb. 16th, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC)
Apparently, that startled look de Cher comes from early facelifts or repeated ones. The point at which one finds the cleft in one's chin is in fact one's navel is surely the time to stop!

I hadn't noticed lines above your nose when we met, but yes, I'll certainly keep you posted!
Feb. 15th, 2010 08:23 pm (UTC)
I think you are stunning and wonderful as you are. I do occasionally watch you on television (not because I am a stalker but for the joy of seeing a friendly face) I like the fact that you are expressive and not frozen into position by anything like botox.

I vote for the no additives or preservatives for the boot campaign :)
Feb. 16th, 2010 03:41 pm (UTC)
How lovely to hear from you! Right now, the Boot campaign is without additives, albeit this evening she might be enhanced by a lethal combination of pancakes and alcohol!

You say lovely things and it cheers me up, thank you so much!
Feb. 15th, 2010 10:21 pm (UTC)
Sorry if this is too blunt
You don't look your age unless something drastic has happened since I last saw you. I reckon you look about six years younger than you actually are, and that if you try to increase that by much you'll just end up looking not quite right in a way that no-one can put their finger on, but it will be just strange enough to make you slightly less attractive. I might be wrong on that last bit.

However, as for the three questions he asked you, how many women who go to see him are likely to answer "no" to any of them? You do have a very animated face, and it's one of your better and more attractive features. Like your high eyebrows, which make you look more arch than surprised, imo. Tis a good thing.
Feb. 16th, 2010 03:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Sorry if this is too blunt
I'm about to be pretty blunt back!

First, thanks for the lovely things you say about my animated face!

Second, the question is where that strangeness you describe via botox, collagen etc comes from; ie. botch jobs or people overdoing them/ becoming psychologically addicted to cosmetic surgery.

Most people wandering round having gone through these procedures look absolutely fine. More than fine. There are plenty of women and men from their 20s to their 70s who look just great, and yes, they've had stuff done. Would they be strange cos of the way they looked? Or because they don't adhere to the way you think a middle-aged/old person should look?

I look great in miniskirts. I don't make jam. I'm keeping my figure and dying my hair for as long as it entertains me. Society can just get over it, cos society's not getting the choice. And if I decide to have the injections, I can survive looking strange-but-you-can't-put-your-finger-on-why cos the injections last 3 months after which I can go right back to being reassuringly craggy:-D

The main issue around this question for me ain't disappearing youth, though it is interesting that this is the reason you assume. It's my work. Will it benefit my work? Would it help me get more work? The answer is yes, very probably. Is it worth losing my expressiveness for? I don't think so. Is there a middle way? Maybe. If I find it, I'll explore...

I do think you are right about the three questions though.

See you very soon! xxx

Re: Sorry if this is too blunt - bytepilot - Feb. 16th, 2010 04:01 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sorry if this is too blunt - smokingboot - Feb. 16th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC) - Expand
How is it that bluntness cuts so sharply. - bytepilot - Feb. 16th, 2010 05:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sorry if this is too blunt - november_girl - Feb. 16th, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sorry if this is too blunt - smokingboot - Feb. 17th, 2010 08:16 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sorry if this is too blunt - november_girl - Feb. 17th, 2010 10:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Sorry if this is too blunt - smokingboot - Feb. 18th, 2010 09:33 am (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 15th, 2010 10:28 pm (UTC)
In other words, I should have had botox when I was 8. In my case, I don't think they were expression lines. They were 'frowning because my eyes are light sensitive' lines.
Feb. 16th, 2010 03:44 pm (UTC)
We should all have had botox when we were 8, or our parents should have worn paper bags so's we wouldn't imitate their frowns and ruin our peerless foreheads.

Light sensitive? So does your skin pull at the side?

In other matters, I have looked at your 10. I have nothing to respond with as I don't really download photos, but there's so much there, in the secret life of you. I found it intense and beautiful.

(no subject) - semyaza - Feb. 16th, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - smokingboot - Feb. 16th, 2010 10:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - semyaza - Feb. 16th, 2010 10:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 16th, 2010 12:45 pm (UTC)
Interesting. I suppose you could go the middle route, and lose the frown and keep the eyebrows. That way you wouldn't risk turning into Anne Robinson, who looks utterly ridiculous with all that work.

I am actually rather tempted by frown botox myself. As I have become more "cough" mature, I find that expressive is giving way to a permanently grumpy expression caused by my own frown lines.

It isn't actually grumpy, it's my "thinking face", but professionally it is better to appear somewhat more amiable, and less scary, than I do, in any walk of life.

Apart from that (Oh, OK, and the slightly jowly look caused by years of totally failing to do anything about an incipient double chin) I'm reasonably happy with my appearance, and more than pleased with my skin.

But I'm sure your nice doctor would see me as a total restoration project, and might NEED to be deliberately frowned at!
Feb. 16th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
Well you see, I will be checking out other doctors and clinics in time, just in case he was being supercilious. I know what you mean by the thinking frown, I have one too, and it's just a case of people not misreading a set of features. Your skin is awesomely pretty. If there's one thing Anne Robinson shows us all, it's that a smooth face over a raddled neck is not much of a solution. But she is so happy with it, all I can do is applaud and wait until she's sorted her turkey scrag out!
(no subject) - ravenrigan - Feb. 16th, 2010 03:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Oldbagism - smokingboot - Feb. 16th, 2010 04:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Oldbagism - ravenrigan - Feb. 16th, 2010 05:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
Feb. 16th, 2010 01:27 pm (UTC)
I admit to being a bit overemotional due to food poisoning...
Please don't mess around with your beautiful face. I feel quite sad at the idea of you losing a tenth of your expressiveness.
Feb. 16th, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC)
Re: I admit to being a bit overemotional due to food poisoning...
Don't be sad. Be well beloved one. I am never going to stop being an OTT goofball. Ever. And my face will always reflect that.

Love you. Now get well xxx
Feb. 16th, 2010 10:13 pm (UTC)
Lasst yeare, igh noticed a line above mygh noze; still tHere.
Ys it catchinng?
Feb. 16th, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)
Yes. Eventually it joins up with all our frown lines and forms a map of the London Underground.

I learned a lot from the man in Harley Street.
( 33 comments — Leave a comment )



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