I thought Botox would change my life. I admired the shiny, perfect foreheads of my elders on “The Real Housewives of Orange County” (or New York, New Jersey, D.C. and Miami, for that matter) and wished that I too could include myself in the natural-but-not club. I’m 28 and definitely the only one in my small-town Indiana family to even consider Botox. I thought it was a necessary form of torture–some sun damage from a few years back had left its mark in the form of noticeable (probably only to me?) horizontal lines across my forehead. It wasn’t quite as if someone drew on my face with eyeliner, but it bothered me. So with the help of a Lifebooker special for $179, I took the plunge before a trip to Jamaica where I intended to do a little more sun damage.
And here’s why I won’t ever do it again.
1. First and foremost, the lines did not completely go away. I’m about three weeks in and I can still detect a trace of my nemesis on my forehead.
2. Have you ever popped a big pimple and felt the skin burst as stuff flew out of it and onto your mirror? (Sorry, I’ll stop there.) That’s what Botox felt like. But after the burst broke the skin an immediate bruise-type pain followed. And it hurt. A lot.
3. BREAKING NEWS: Thanks to the Botox, I have a wonky eyebrow. I can raise both brows, but the right one gets lazy and just droops after about 3 seconds. The left stays put. I don’t need a “Zoolander” expression often and now I’m stuck with one for four to six months.
4. The doctor apparently hated my face. She told me I needed everything from fillers to lifts to reconstructive surgery in order to look “okay.”
5. I can’t tell anyone I did it. (Well, until now.) I’m not trying to hear, “But you’re only 28!” My mom doesn’t know, but when she visited recently, she kept asking why I was looking at her “like that.”
6. I felt a little ashamed walking into the Park Avenue “Medical Spa” and covered my eyes (and face) with battered-wife style sunglasses.
7. Let’s not forget the wonky eyebrow. The few people I have showed look at me and keel over with laughter. And I just have to give them that; it is wonky.
8. I want to look surprised when things are surprising. I don’t want to look surprised all the time.
9. I could have spent my $179 on something way better. I could have refilled my Gold Starbucks card and been happier overall.
10. I obsessively look in the mirror now. Not because I love my new forehead but because I’m searching for Botox progressions, imperfections and stray frozen muscles.
11. Honestly, I feel kind of silly for altering my face. Something I thought I needed so badly turned out to make me feel like a vain, indulgent jerk.
So I ask—have you or would you consider Botox? I welcome horror stories, too, if for no other reason than to feel better about my newfound jerkness. Please.