• Sat, Jan 8 2011

Is Botox a Necessity?

Sometimes, I read press releases. Most of the time, they’re repetitive, but every so often I stumble across a gem — and tonight was one of those times.

Because tonight, I found a press release announcing the findings of a study that purports that 45% of women in France, Italy, Spain, Russia and the United Kingdom feel that aesthetic procedures (facial injectables in particular) are a necessity, not a luxury.

Let’s start at the beginning, shall we?

Whether that 45% statistic is accurate or not, the fact that it’s being presented as fact makes me think that perhaps we need to re-examine the definition of “necessity” and “luxury.”

Necessity, as I’ve always understood it, can be loosely based on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It includes basics — you’ve got your shelter, your food, your breathing — then we move up to things like love and belonging, and finally, self-actualization. Try as I might, I simply could not find anything in the pyramid that may have been a reference to facial injectables (even the Wikipedia article stipulates that gaining the respect of others is based on low self-esteem, and won’t necessarily lead to higher needs being filled).

Luxury, on the other hand, is something expensive that you can easily live without. Like, I don’t know, facial injectables.

Next up in the press release is the following quote:

“As a plastic surgeon, I was delighted by how many women see the positive effects of investing in the creation of beauty,” said Benjamin Ascher, M.D., IMCAS Congresses Scientific Director, Lecturer and Clinical Assistant, Paris Academy and Member of the French Society of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgery.

Yes…of course. As a plastic surgeon, you’re glad that you still have a job. Calling a shot of Botox or the like “investing in the creation of beauty” might be taking a little bit of a poetic license there, sailor.

But Ascher goes on to say this:

“This interest in putting their most beautiful face forward demonstrates how comfortable women are with accentuating their own attributes.”

Ah, yes. It always veers into the delusional eventually, doesn’t it? I mean, that last sentence is simply nonsensical. Nothing about injecting foreign objects into your body counts as “your own attributes.” It’s a press release fail.

Now, don’t get me wrong — this doesn’t really change my opinion about Botox. It just serves as a good reminder to do your research before you decide on a plastic surgeon (hint: go with one who makes sense), and also, to know what you’re getting into (hint #2: Botox has nothing to do with necessity, or accentuating anything that already belongs to you).

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  • modish

    I was very much looking forward to reading the report, but it sits behind a site that is for journalists only. I am a lowly aesthetician who is not permitted to even register on the site.

    Can someone tell me the name of the report and/or who published it? I’d like to try to find it elsewhere.

    Thanks!