My visit to the skin-torture doctor

It was scary and expensive. It was probably an affront to feminism. But hallelujah, Botox made me look younger

By Mary T. Kelly
December 19, 2009 6:19AM (UTC)
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Call me a phony, call me superficial, call me a disappointment to feminism and women in general. I really don’t care. One advantage of being in the half-a-century fun group is, It’s just really none of your business, and I don’t give a rip what you think. But since it’s Christmastime, I’m in a giving mood and will share my story with you.

A couple of years ago, I suddenly noticed lines around my face that made me look like a permanent grouch. There was this one particularly large line right in the middle of my forehead, between my eyes. This lumbersome line made me look angry. This was quite annoying, as I didn’t feel angry most of the time — except when I saw that line.


One morning, I took a closer look in the mirror without my reading glasses on. It wasn't pretty. With the reading glasses on, it was downright scary.

Age denial comes in many forms ... and Botox is one of them. Yeah, yeah, I know that beauty is only skin deep. I know all about inner beauty. I know how the cosmetic industry and society in general are telling me as a woman I'm never enough and I shouldn't buy into it, and I'm good enough, and special enough and gosh darn it people like me and blah blah blah. I wanted fake, I wanted superficial, and I wanted it now!

So, despite my strong feminist leanings, I decided it was time to take a trip to the Skin Miracle Worker, aka Botox Doc, aka Money-Sucking Grubber.


And why not? Why should I look my age when I don't feel it? Besides, the 40s are the new 20s (never mind that I'm in my 50s). My best friend and I went to our secret stash cash drawers (every woman should have one) and headed to the nearest skin torture chamber.

A scary-looking woman who I swear was a robotic mannequin slathered numbing cream all over my face in the waiting room. "Well, aren't we casual about all this?" I thought as I looked at the other slathery-faced women around me.

I felt like I'd been abducted by aliens, put under the bright lights, and poked and prodded. My doctor, who looked a lot like the statue of David (this made the whole ordeal a lot easier), had a slightly mischievous, evil smile on his face. Even as he inflicted unspeakable pain into my unsuspecting lines, that smile reassured me I would walk out completely satisfied.


Stumbling out of the bright lights back into reality, it was clear the torture doc was having a Botox special. There were women littered about everywhere. There was a party atmosphere. There were fresh strawberries, chocolate, cheese and crackers, even wine upon request. Too bad my face was too numb to enjoy it. What a tease. This doctor and his staff were sadistic, and yet there was a room full of ladies literally lining up for the same procedures I had just had.

While I stood at the counter waiting to empty my children's college accounts, the whole room became a love fest. The talk became about who had what and who was waiting to have what. It was like a bachelorette party without the strippers, although I got the feeling strippers would be provided if the demand were made.


By the time I walked out of the office, I looked like a victim of domestic violence. I was left bruised and swollen, but bottom line, I looked younger and bruised and swollen as opposed to older, wrinkled and victimless.

It took a few days, but I loved my results. I will admit to seriously questioning my mental sanity at paying big bucks for self-inflicted torture and pain. And I suspect Gloria Steinem would have been ashamed.

But I saw her on CNN the other day — and she looked suspiciously good.

Mary T. Kelly

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