On Beauty and Botox

I didn’t grow up in a world of Botox, although my thirty-something children did. My daughter once told me that getting work on your face was perfectly normal for her generation. At the time she was in the sixth form. I was quite shocked at the time. But I’ve rarely attempted to overtly influence my children, except with regard to taking pills. I made sure they knew that I was very anti pills, as they grew up because of the side effects and risks. When they were unwell I always asked them what they felt like eating and we were lucky enough to be able to afford to buy it for them, whatever it was.

I suppose Botox is a kind of quick fix solution if you’ve been squinting at a screen all day in poor light. Except it isn’t a cheap one, like chocolates for someone who has forgotten to eat.

I often wonder whether people realise how good you look when you walk for a couple of hours. Your skin glows, your eyes sparkle and you can lose a great deal of weight through walking 12k a day. The only difficulty would be finding the time, especially with computers and phones calling to you to take more photographs and compare yourself to everyone else. When I was a child it seemed to me like there were about three rival women in the world, Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy, and Debbie Harry.

The icons were film stars from Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Bringing up Baby. They seemed a million miles away, in an old film you could rarely get access to.

Men rarely seem to be involved in this debate. Although Simon Cowell used to get the injections, and it was never a secret.

I suppose there wasn’t that constant pressure to look good. The main mirror was a reflection in the glass of the shop window as you walked past. And imagine a man looking at his reflection in a shop window; which gives me an idea for a story.

Still, there is always gardening to lift the spirits and take us out of this constant need to compare ourselves with others on a superficial level.

I’ve been practicing yoga too, which is calming and doesn’t involve the use of a device.

Building in regular health enhancing habits, is a good way of taking your mind off your flaws.

When I was a child there were very few mirrors in the house and if we ever looked in one our grandmother would tell us not to be vain. Now that is a word you rarely hear anymore.

I remember I used to enjoy dressing up in the sort of clothes they wore in the twenties.

Red lipstick gives the face an instant lift too. It always puts a smile on my face.

Published by hermionelaake contributing editor O:JA&L

Currently, whist working on long fiction, I write short stories, poetry, essays and blog weekly. I appeared on Blog Talk Radio, 2016, interview across continents with Susan Wingate. See my twitter account: herziloph, pinned tweet; Award nominee, Jointly-published and Indie writer. Nominated for the Avon and Authonomy First Lines prize, 2014 and the H. G. Wells Grand Prize for Fiction, 2013. My flash fiction is published with Open: Journal of Arts and Letters.

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