When I finally got rid of acne at 25 and started modeling, I made sure to take extra care of my skin. I stopped sunbathing, I moisturized like a motherf#&ker, and I got regular facials.
I was competing with teenagers so I needed perfect skin.
I’ve had a lot of laser and chemical procedures done to my face, mostly to get rid of scarring and bacteria. I’ve never had Botox or injections, and never even thought of getting them until my best friend and I went to a cosmetic soiree thing last week in West Hollywood.
They were doing drawings for free hair removal, chemical peels, Botox, juvederm, microdermabrasion, and whatever else you can do to your skin. I was there to try to win free hair removal because I’m sick of shaving my vagina every other day like some sort of cave woman.
We got there a few minutes before 5pm and talked with the other ladies waiting. There was one woman in her late forties who was talking about how her face got ruined from crying about the love of her life breaking up with her after 10 years.
Another woman blurts out, “I’ve given up on men.”
“Especially men in LA, they’re all little boys who think they deserve the best and won’t act like a real man when it comes to relationships,” another woman says.
YESSSS. It felt so good to talk with older successful women who don’t give a damn about anything.
“You have to love yourself first, I wish I learned that a long time ago," the first woman said. “I’ve only been in love twice, and they both broke my heart, so screw men.”
Hell, yeah! I was way too excited for this party.
My friend and I were also really excited about the snacks. Macaroons! Mini-salads! Vegetables! It was like a dream for two broke girls living in Koreatown above what’s probably a meth lab. We grabbed some snacks and went into a room where ladies were listening to a woman show photos and talk about Ultherapy. It’s a procedure that tightens loose skin using ultrasound.
At first, we both felt a little out of place being pretty young (I turn 30 in April) and not really needing any of the procedures. But I kept hearing women say “prevention” this and “prevent” that, which made me think that maybe I do need something in my face to stop wrinkles before they happen. Was this a legit thought or just Hollywood brainwashing?
I started looking at my face in a mirror and noticing all sorts of things wrong with it. When I smile, I get a small wrinkle under my left eye, and if I open my eyes too wide, my forehead gets wrinkly.
OH MY GOD I’M GOING TO BE UGLY REALLY SOON IF I DON’T BOTOX MY ENTIRE LIFE!!! AHHHHH!!!!!
I had to talk myself out of scheduling an appointment: “Calm down Melissa, you’re pretty just the way you are. You’re a model, you idiot. You get paid to have pictures taken of you."
"Yeah, but you’re almost 30 and that’s when your metabolism slows down and your skin starts to sag. Maybe you need to do stuff now to prevent that from happening."
"No, Melissa, you need to pay your rent, and don’t you want to buy everything from the Peter Pilotto for Target collection? Yeah, that’s more important than your face."
"Wait, but if you’re ugly you’ll never find a husband."
"You don’t want to look like you have stuff in your face, though."
"Wine. Drink another glass of wine and everything will make sense.”
My friend, who is 31, was very interested in Ultherapy. She talked with the women about getting the skin under her chin tightened because she hates it. Then we thought maybe liposuction would be better for her. We went outside for a second to collect our thoughts.
My friend smoked a cigarette while we stood on a sidewalk in West Hollywood, quietly judging our own appearances.
“We are by far the youngest people here debating on what we need to do to our faces even though we both don’t have wrinkles or any signs of aging. What has happened to us?” I said.
My friend was looking at her reflection in the glass, moving the skin around on her face. I started to do the same.
“I just need this part of my face to go away," she said tightening the skin on her neck.
“Yeah, I hate these lines my face make when I smile,” I said while pulling my face up to see what I’d look like with a facelift.
We walked back in just in time for the raffle. The first prize was three sessions of free hair removal. We didn’t win. The second was 50% off hair removal. We didn’t win. The third prize was a free Ultherapy treatment. My friend wanted that one so badly. It was worth $2,000. Some other chick’s name was called. Bummer.
We were asked if we wanted to make appointments for anything because the discounts were only for that night. We decided not to buy anything and think about it more.
We decided not to buy anything so we could research the procedures more to see any of the long term side effects or horror stories other women may have. Also, my friend is obsessed with getting things for free and/or discounted, and I'm really good at the Internet, so it seemed wise to read Yelp reviews and compare prices before shelling out hundreds of dollars to get things injected in our faces. And yet now I'm definitely considering it. I know I don't have an ear growing out of my forehead, but the ideology of perfection in the fashion world has definitely brainwashed me. I want to look pretty forever. Plus, conversing with women in their forties who have had cosmetic work done and aren't ashamed of it made me feel more confident about wanting to look good.
I’m not opposed to getting cosmetic work done, but I think if every woman stopped doing it and we battled it out au natural, it would be less unfair. It feels like cheating getting stuff put in your face.
If they did it, and are happy with it, why wouldn't I be happy with it? If there’s something to make you feel better about your appearance, then why not do it?
Has anyone started “preventative” cosmetic work in their twenties? Or am I crazy to even contemplate it?
(Stay tuned for my next article called: I Got Botox And It Was Totally Awesome!)