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How Would You Feel If Someone Said You Need Botox?

Yesterday was rough. A routine dermatologist visit that involved checking my moles and poking around at a few clogged pores turned into a hugely upsetting event. After getting the all-clear on the important skincare stuff, the doctor said, "It's probably time to think about Botox soon."

I burst into tears.

Like many people, I'm noticing signs of aging — a smile line here, a small furrow there — and trying to keep it all in perspective. But hearing that I'm a likely candidate for Botox bummed me out. It's not that I have anything against Botox in theory, but I'm not exactly rushing to hit the needle. (Aside from snakes, needles are my biggest phobia.) I also resent the youth-obsessed culture that treats wrinkles like they're the end of the world. Furthermore, just this past weekend, a bouncer thought I was 10 years younger than I am — so I can't look that grizzled, right? Overall, I feel a little stunned, a little angry, and a little depressed — and very, very glad that today is therapy day. I'm curious: What would you feel like if someone were to say this to you?

Photo by Racchio

Join The Conversation
LittlexLady LittlexLady 7 years
What kind of doctor would say that to a woman?? That is beyond rude and completely unnecessary. Most women know exactly what Botox is and would more than likely ask for it or something similar IF they deem it appropriate. To mention it casually to a patient as if it's a necessity is shallow and also a blatant attempt at getting into your wallet in the future. An experience like that with a doctor like the one you had would leave me with a bad taste in my mouth. In fact, I'd see someone else. That's just me.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
Allytta -- if more than THIRTY?! thirty isn't old, my dear
Allytta Allytta 7 years
how old are you? if more than 30 you can think about it, but do it 10 years later :) what's the big deal? dermatologists are not gods and we shouldn't take everything they say so seriously. trust yourself, not someone who gets paid more to put you down.
Mariannie Mariannie 7 years
This culture is so afraid of wrinkles. I love laugh lines. They add character and a certain air of sophistication in my opinion.
cherryice cherryice 7 years
Yup, he has dollar signs in his eyes. Think about it - prick someone with a few needles and collect $500. Easy cash. Not that I'm against it - I've had it myself - but I wouldn't take kindly to someone pushing it on me. Thankfully my plastic surgeon just tells me about different options and prices and leaves it at that - no pressure at all. I'd switch derms quickly.
ElisabethR ElisabethR 7 years
Poor Bella! I know just how you must have felt. I haven't been recommended Botox, but I've been recommended breast implants, so there you go. Your dermatologist should have picked up on YOUR joking tone, and responded in kind. Something like "Well, you certainly don't NEED to do anything about them, but if they really really start bugging you, I have options" or something like that. I'm in my late 20s, and I'm noticing lines already -- I joke constantly about what I call my Harrison Ford wrinkle from my cocky smile. But if someone immediately responded with "Time for Botox!" I would be very upset as well. If the bouncer thought you were younger, than that's all the sign you need for going Botoxless. That's a judgmental crowd!! :)
foudini foudini 7 years
Tact is a gift and not everyone has it. There was a better way to name-drop Botox than suggesting you "needed" it. Anyway, don't rule out talking with the Derm and expressing your feelings over how he acted, some people honestly don't realize they are being rude. Unfortunately I question the ethics of any doctor that insists you need to inject a toxin into your face rather than continue to use sunscreen and, say, retin-A.
FitZucchero FitZucchero 7 years
I have to agree that I would recommend getting a new doctor. Regardless of whether or not it was said in a light-hearted way, I don't think her comments were appropriate. I remember my mother took pride in her laugh lines saying she worked hard by laughing a lot her entire life to earn those and no one was going to take those away. I feel the same way. It shows that I've done my fair share of smiling and that's not a bad thing. Not that this is even remotely similar, but my aunt recently switched docs after he tried to put her on blood sugar meds because she had early stage diabetes. She left because at no point did the doctor ever say "You need to eat better and exercise more, it's affecting your health". The second she heard him just try to prescribe her a cocktail of pills she realized she needed to do this for herself. She's since lost 45 lbs and her blood sugar is under control. Again, totally different, but I do think that docs have become a little too free wheeling with prescriptions and medical quick fixes.
AmberHoney AmberHoney 7 years
$$$$$ that all I see. Time to get a new doc. I'd be totally pissed! And I'm even madder that it wasn't a stranger on the street or some weirdo, c'mon doc lose the money grabbing charm.
lydia_or_not lydia_or_not 7 years
My God, what is with this culture that makes us all want to look the same- like some manufactured porcelain dolls?! What that woman told you was very rude, and inappropriate. What is so terrible in wrinkles?! Even if one gets botoxed you are still the same age, you didn't turn the clock! You are just pretending, just hiding. And why hide the years- you were there when they were being made, they are a part of you. I don't know, my mom is well in her 50's and yes she has wrinkles (even more now after her illness) and I know she would never consider that. Why, why torture yourself just someone else, some stranger, could tell you that you look younger. Talking about vanity...It's like being ashamed of oneself. Sorry, this just makes me really angry...
runningesq runningesq 7 years
dermatologist is a doctor. Not an athestician, not your hairdresser, not a makeup artist, not some person on the street. Doctors take an oath to do no harm, and Botox is unnecessary poison injected into your face to paralyze the muscles SO WELL PUT. Bella, do yourself a favor and get a new derm. NOW.
bonchicbongenre bonchicbongenre 7 years
Time for a new dermatologist! I could never imagine my dermatologist saying anything that rude. I would seriously consider switching.
pinkpeonygirl pinkpeonygirl 7 years
Nobody "needs" botox. Ever. It is solely a choice certain people make at a certain point in their lives, often too soon and too much of it unfortunately. Sometimes people feel pressure to do this kind of thing, others feel like they can push its use on someone else, which is immoral I think. After all injecting toxins in your face is not a thing you do lightheartedly or at least you shouldn't. Shame on your doctor. Personally I can't ever imagine doing this (and I'm 36), but never say never.
brandysbug brandysbug 7 years
I don't think doctors mean to hurt feelings, they just make suggestions and sometimes say things without subtlety about body issues we may already feel self-conscious about. I was 9 months pregnant, was within the normal range of weight gain, hadn't gained a pound for weeks...then all of a sudden, I gained 5 lbs in 1 week. When the doctor came in, she said "wow...5 lbs..that's not all baby weight, you know." My hubby spoke up and said I was wearing heavier clothes than the last time and the doc said "oh...look, he's trying to protect you..." I am a very self-conscious person when it comes to weight and was extremely hormonal. I seriously had to choke back tears in the office. When we got to the car, I started bawling. I'm sure the doctor didn't think twice about it and probably thought she was helping me keep my weight in check when really she just hurt my feelings! (I went home and chowed down on a big bowl of ice cream!) I'm sure Bella's derm. didn't mean anything by it especially if she had joked about the lines first. I'm just surprised - Botox seems so controversial to me. I'm surprised a dermatologist would suggest it!
Ac2366 Ac2366 7 years
We do Botox and Restylane in the office I work in. We never try to sell it. We have pamphlets and things sitting around and we wait for patients to ask about it. It always feels good when someone ID's you. I love that! I picked up a pack of smokes for a friend the other day and the cashier asked me if I was old enough to buy them. I laughed and told her I'm 29!
lovelie lovelie 7 years
I feel for you Bella. Something similar happened to me the other day. I recently had surgery, and since then I have noticed my hair has been shedding increasingly bad. First I thought I was imagining it, but then my derm diagnosed it as telegen effluvium...a disruption of your hair cycle. Ok, well I can live with that..as long as it comes back, which she reassured me it will. Well I have always had very nice thick hair, so it is not that noticeable (at least I didn't think so, nor anyone close to me) so I went to a salon to pick up some good quality shampoo that is suppose to help. Well the nosy hair stylist came over, without any soliciation and told me that I should purchase the Nioxin kit for "noticeably" thinning hair. I walked out, and starting crying hysterically once I got in my car. Why do some people take it upon themselves to give unsolicited advice is beyond me...
verily verily 7 years
I think it's time to start thinking about a new dermatologist. Unless he's a cosmetic surgeon primarily, a medical professional shouldn't be pushing unnecessary cosmetic procedures on patients like that. Lines add character to a face. I'd rather have a few laugh lines that show I've enjoyed life than inject a toxin into my face that might paralyze the underlying muscles or make my eyelids droop.
ANegueruela ANegueruela 7 years
I completely agree with all the other posters. Despite your derm was nice about it, I guess she saw the opportunity in making some extra money when you joked about the lines. As someone said above, docs shouldn't suggest something you don't need. And if you haven't thought about it before don't star now just because of what she said. Sometime men are quite wiser by just not giving a second thought about things, do the same!
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 7 years
Even if you jokingly mentioned the smile lines that would still irk me if it was me. But it's true that someone like a dermatologist or plastic surgeon are use to looking for perceived imperfections even though it bothers me when a doctor or anyone else makes someone feel insecure over very little things that people wouldn't even notice or really think someone actually needs injections or surgery for. To answer the question, I would think anyone who suggests it is an idiot. I don't even think botox is something I would ever consider. I don't really care to have something that is a mild form of a poison injected into my face just because society expects me to freak out over getting older. After turning a year older recently I even decided I don't want anyone joking to me about us getting older because I don't want anyone making me feel like being older has to be a bad thing. I take care of my skin so it'll be in good shape when I'm older, but what I really want is to be healthy throughout my life. -Smile lines don't have to be a bad thing, Better to have plenty of reasons to smile than plenty to frown.
Beauty Beauty 7 years
The derm was pretty nice about it — it's not like I was told that I was a huge hag or anything like that. And to be fair, I was asking about acne and then jokingly said, "And there's nothing that can be done about these smile lines." That's when she said that it would be good to start thinking about the 'tox. I had talked about the smile lines in a joking, jovial way, and then, bam, flood of tears. It's interesting to read all of your responses. My best friend was really sweet and sent a long note about how I'm ok, and my therapist was also really helpful. Mr. Bella didn't get what the big deal was. He as well as an ex I'm close to both said, "That's ridiculous" and went on their merry little way. I think we women may be more sensitive to this sort of comment.
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