Frowns and wrinkles – a curse or testament to a well-lived life?

As I mindlessly scrolled though my newsfeed on my phone, I ended up reading about Prince William and Catherine – Will and Kate to us in cyberland. The article praised her new look at the premiere of the latest James Bond movie. The praise was for her flawless complexion and then segued into her new skin care regime.

So, what’s the point I hear you ask? It’s to do with botulism – the toxin that is responsible for thousands of deaths over the centuries. Botulism was produced in food that was poorly preserved, usually in a home context, and then fed to the family. Visualise, in the days before adequate canning, the entire family dead around the dinner table after eating home-preserved vegetables. A scene out of Monty Python comes to mind, or some similar version of black humour, but the reality for generations of victims was not at all funny.

And Botulinum toxin, one of the most poisonous biological substances, is the ingredient in Botox, that miracle of anti-ageing favoured by Hollywood starlets and millennials. The treatment, which involves having Botox injected into the skin, causes paralysis in the muscles around the injection point and hence wrinkles are obliterated for weeks at a time.

Read: The royal ‘fairytale’ that faded

I decided to read the advertising claims for Kate’s alleged new skin routine. The product boasted “no frown lines, wrinkles smoothed out for hours and hours” and it was sold on Amazon for only $60. A ‘steal’, a ‘miracle’ in a bottle. It, too, used a version of Botox, but one applied to the skin rather than injected.

So what’s wrong with this picture? We have created a world where to have wrinkles and to frown is appalling, anathema to the world of the young and the world of anti-ageing. We are told that we need to anaesthetise our faces, to smooth out the wrinkles of time and to show only a smooth visage free of emotion and, essentially, life.

The pressure is on to not age, to not grow old, to remain eternally young. This, of course, relegates the middle aged and older to the periphery of society, to be ignored and discarded.

Read: To leave the kids an inheritance – or not?

But some help is at hand. Queen Elizabeth has aged graciously and actively, and is widely admired for her duty and devotion to her country, despite a wrinkled face and stooped shoulders. David Attenborough too, a man of considerable age and wrinkles, has lived a life of action, principle and empathy. He has (hopefully) saved the planet.

We need to see beyond the superficiality of a smooth face and focus on how we live our lives, not how ‘pretty’ we look. Chuck out the Botox. Eat frozen vegies.

Do you agree with Dianne’s views or is it perfectly fine to try to stay as youthful looking as possible for as long as possible? Why not share your views in the comments section below?

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Written by Dianne Motton

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