Is Botox the new manicure for today’s 40-year-old?

December 12, 2012

The quest for beauty remains the same; only the procedures change.
The quest for beauty remains the same; only the procedures change.

“Is it uncouth to show up with fine lines?” asks Aleksandra Crapanzano, a Marie Claire writer. The occasion was a birthday dinner with a crowd she last saw ten years ago.  The odd thing was that now her old friends did not look old. Ten years ago, she would have had a manicure and a blow dry. Was she now expected to have Botox and fillers to be well dressed in certain circles?

Crapanzano called herself a “lipstick feminist,” someone who believes in equality for women and will fight for it, but delights in picking out the perfect shade of lipstick at a beauty counter. Though her mother was a vocal feminist, Crapanzano identifies herself as part of the Botox generation. She is a reaction to her feminist mother, grateful to Gloria Steinem but not ready to burn her bra. She is now part of a world in which Botox has become the norm.

Crapanzano wonders if people really feel better when they remove the history from their faces with Botox and the love handles from their bodies with liposuction. A Manhattan psychiatrist answers that patients report better moods following their Botox injections. When Crapanzano also asked if removing the ability to frown can actually improve mood, she was told that frowning stimulates worry and unhappiness and smiling stimulates mental happiness.

In “Survival of the Prettiest,” a Harvard psychologist suggests that pursuit of beauty is a fundamental part of human nature and a biological adaptation to help ensure survival. In other words, Cleopatra would have sprung for Botox, fillers and a neck lift because the quest for youthful beauty has not changed, only the available procedures.

But a Harvard-trained plastic surgeon warns against “doing too much,” stating that it will simply make you look older. To avoid overdoing it, one physician offers almost undetectable frequent mini-injections of filler and Botox, preserving a natural facial expression.

Crapanzano finally decides to undergo a “triad facial,” including microdermabrasion, laser toning and a mild chemical peel. The results are that she looks very good, which makes her feel very good. She was inspired enough to follow up with Ulthera in the hope that it would tighten her jawline. It did, and now she feels like signing up for everything. She reflects that life expectancy has increased and careers take shape more slowly in the post-bubble economy. “Perhaps we are the generation that simply will not be put out to pasture.”

If you decide to improve your face with cosmetic surgery, put it in the hands of a board-certified practitioner in an appropriate specialty with significant experience in the procedure you will undergo.  

The mission of the Aesthetic Society includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Aesthetic Society, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to

Search by location (Zip, City, or Country)

Related Articles

Study: If you've got wrinkles, thank Mom

September 12, 2013 - Have you ever wondered why some people get wrinkles at a young age and others don't?

Handy tips to keep your hands looking youthful

September 10, 2013 - When people talk about the first signs of aging they noticed, they typically say they were shocked to see new wrinkles forming on their face.

New wrinkle worry identified: Water bottle mouth

August 22, 2013 - Facial wrinkles occur because people lose skin elasticity as they age, but there are also habits that can contribute to premature signs of aging.

Some men refuse to accept "pancake butt" sitting down

August 7, 2013 - Jeff Vickers, owner of a construction company, told the New York Times that he had plastic surgery because he had “a nonexistent butt.”

Study links lack of sleep, poor skin quality

August 5, 2013 - They call it "beauty rest" for a reason.

Latest Articles

Plastic lips to get rid of wrinkles?

September 25, 2013 - Remember those wax lips you used to chew on when you were a kid? Well, they seem to have inspired the latest fad in the anti-aging realm.

Illegal buttock injections are more common than you think

September 19, 2013 - How many times have you read a story about illegal plastic surgery in the news?

Yet another anti-wrinkle cream faces lawsuit

September 17, 2013 - It seems to be almost cyclical - every few months, a brand new, game-changing anti-wrinkle cream is introduced to the market, only to face lawsuits due to suggestions that the "scientific" claims made on the side of the bottle are absolute bunk.

Study: If you've got wrinkles, thank Mom

September 12, 2013 - Have you ever wondered why some people get wrinkles at a young age and others don't?

ABOUT The Aesthetic Society

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. The Aesthetic Society is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.


Copyright © 2009-2022 the Aesthetic Society. All Rights Reserved.