“Freeze your Face, and your Emotions?”
By Julie Shillabeer, R.Ac
There is a new epidemic that is sweeping the nation, and his name is Botox®.
From the ages 8 to 88, people are getting injected with this toxin for the sake of beauty, and with the hope of maintaining their youth. When we say superficial, we then don’t think that what we do to the superficial can affect our health to the deepest level, but it does.
Facial expressions and emotions go hand in hand. When we are surprised or worried, we wrinkle our forehead. When we are focused or irritated, we frown in between our eyebrows. When we are happy, we smile. Long term sadness or grieving shows a downturn of the corners of the mouth. Facial expressions leave a story, one that society has sadly deemed as less than desirable.
The goal of Botox® itself is to freeze the muscles that cause the facial expressions; this freezing will remain for 4-6 months. In that time, the facial expression cannot be expressed through the muscle. Allergan (the makers of Botox®) claims there are not many side effects from Botox®, and the ones that occur are extremely mild, such as bruising. My question is, what about completely shifting the way we think and feel as an individual?
Published in Forbes Women Magazine, an article titled “Botox® might make you less empathetic, So What?”, writer Kiri Blakeley states that this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially for women. That it might lay out the empathetic playing field between women and men. When she says “break out the Botox®”, I couldn’t help but wonder did Allergan sponsor this article? Who would say something so crazy?
In a study published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, two US Psychologists found that having Botox® injections to smooth facial wrinkles dulls people’s ability to read emotions in others. The professors suggest that “one way we read the feelings of others is by mimicking their facial expressions, whereupon muscular feedback from our faces to our brains helps us decide which emotions the expressions correspond to.” They also stated that “having Botox® injections to smooth out wrinkles interferes with our ability to fully mimic expressions of others, thus dulling our ability to accurately perceive and interpret the emotions we are trying to read.” [i]
Botox does not come cheap either. Once you start getting Botox®, most will likely wish to continue with it. Most doctors will administer it every 3-4 months. If you begin injecting Botox® at 36, are you ready to dedicate 30-40 years of Botox®, in your body? Are you prepared to spend $800 – $1000 per year, averaging $24, 000 – $40, 000 in a lifetime? Allergan is fully aware of the psychological addiction to Botox®.
In an article published by Dulcimer Pearce of the Sun, a mother has come out stating she gives her 8 year old daughter Botox®. The girl is a budding piano player and a Beauty Pageant competitor, her mother claims Botox® will up her chances at the crown. “This behavior is becoming a trend in the competitive world of American child beauty pageants. Kerry says: “When Britney takes part in pageants, parents talk about how they have given their daughter an extra jab to plump her lips or lose a wrinkle. “Everyone is doing it and talking about it.”[ii] The Pageant board denies this is happening with the children.
Britney says: “My friends think it’s cool I have all the treatments and they want to be like me. I check every night for wrinkles, when I see some I want more injections. They used to hurt, but now I don’t cry that much. I also want a boob and nose job soon, so that I can be a star.”[iii] Britney’s mother is now under investigation for child abuse and administering these treatments on her. The real tragedy being she will never feel perfect in her mother’s eye. With how this girl has been raised, only validated by our brainwashed culture, Britney will probably continue to use Botox® throughout her lifetime. Not to mention, what are the effects of injecting poison throughout a lifetime? That we do not know. It will be only a matter of time, and age that she will then start dabbling in more risky procedures.
As a child you are still developing all of your emotions, not a time to inject a drug which freezes them. Will she ever fully develop emotionally? What will her social skills look like when she is a teenager, adult? How will others understand and respond to her if she doesn’t fully develop her emotions and facial muscles? Years from now, will her children have difficulty expressing their full emotional potential? Children comprehend facial expressions well before any understanding of language, another epidemic.
Surprisingly, in the UK and US there are no criminal laws stopping a child having these types of procedures as the industry is self-regulated.[iv]
Could we be creating a generation of Human Robots?
Julie Shillabeer is a Registered Acupuncturist who works in Vancouver, Canada. She has focused her specialty on Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture over the past 8 years. Her goal is to offer a healthy solution to age maintenance. For more information on Facial Rejuvenation Acupuncture, please visit http://acucarevancouver.ca/acv3/facial-rejuvenation/