The Botox Generation

This morning, I noticed a well-known celebrity in her sixties on social media taking a selfie (what’s new!). Who’s had a facelift? She reminds me of a piece of cling film pulled tightly over a salad bowl with no line or frown on her face! She looked like a chipmunk – you know that look always gives it away. It’s like virtually hanging a sign on your face advertising, ‘I’ve had the builders In!

And I thought to myself, what is the narrative she is telling herself when she looks in the mirror. She, of course, will defend and say the thousand of ‘likes’ and remarks she receives gives her the evidence that reinforces her belief that she looks fab! (nobody, not even her agent or adoring fans, will whisper in her ear and say, you look ridiculous for your age!). But where are the lines on her face that prove life has been lived? It’s all been erased like a photoshop edit.

Desperate to display

But what is it about women who are desperate to portray an image of twenty/thirty years younger than the picture in their passport? We all have a personal, subjective sense of how old we are. When I asked people in interviews how old they feel, unless they are depressed, the age they give is invariably younger than their real age.

Forty-year-old women and men are most likely to say, “I still sort of figure I’m twenty-eight.” The difference between our real and our subjective age shifts over time, and in people with a healthy self-perception, the gap probably becomes smaller. If you’re a 65-year old woman and you feel as though you’re 55 or 58, that’s natural and adaptive. If your self-perception is too distant from reality, you are not going to function very well in the world. Well, not in my view.

Injectable youth has been seized upon with a vengeance by members of the Botox Generation. Licensed in early 2000 to reduce frown lines, it has been the fastest-growing cosmetic procedure. It first started in the United States; it soon spread to Europe, and the British have grabbed it with both arms or should I say both cheeks… Early adopters were the wealthy elite. Now virtually every major city up and down the country it’s available, from Botox and champagne parties to your local dentist and back street unlicensed jabber.

The craze for erasing the folds and creases of age begins relatively young. Almost half of all surgical and non-surgical cosmetic procedures are performed on women aged 35- to 50, the 51-to-64 age group is close behind, and the latest figures show even teenagers are now beginning to get in on the act as well as men.

Cosmetic fillers last only about six months.  I suggest a fling with a younger man can do more to reverse a debilitating self-image and boost a woman’s desire and desirability than any 

Dr Lookgood’s needle!

Dr Lookgood


The fantasy of a woman’s desperate need to retain the idealised image of herself reflected in that distorted mirror of youth leads her to believe she is still in her mid-thirties. And her name will be on a never-ending appointment list at Dr Lookgood surgery, waiting for work to be done. How many times have we read of people being addicted to it? 

Unfortunately, our search for the elixir of youth is as old as time itself. But there is plenty of well-known celebrities and lesser-known folk who maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle who don’t feel the need to employ the services of Dr Lookgood and look all the better for it; there’s not a chipmunk insight.



So, Where will it end, you might ask? The image we have of our-self on the inside – our true authentic self – is the one we should be embracing and honouring on the outside, the one with all the lines, creases and stories to prove a life well-lived. And no amount of surgery should eradicate that.  And once you embrace it, you will be happier for it. As the saying goes, who you are on the inside will mirror who you are on the outside.



My clients often ask me what I think of cosmetic surgery? My reply is always the same, I have no personal gripe with it, as long as it’s sympathetic – bags removed under the eyes can do wonders –  and who knows, maybe I will use it myself one day.


But in my view, the taught cling film over the salad bowl look doesn’t cut it for me. As my grandma used to say, “everything in moderation.”


So, How about you have you had the builders in?

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