I just turned 44. I really freaking like my age and never hide it. I feel better than I did in my 20s, I’m smarter than I was in my 30s, and I can still do cartwheels and roll my eyes like I did when I was a teenager.
I like my body. I like my face. I have parts that are different than they were just months ago. I have areas that are better than ever — maybe this has something to do with acceptance, I don’t know. What I do know is maybe a little bit of being too busy mixed with giving attention to the things that matter the most to me these days is good for the soul, so I’ll do my best to keep it up.
As an aging women who has birthed three kids, I also have parts of me I don’t like. I have loose skin, there’s sagging, and I have so many “what the fuck” moments going on during that time of month, I’ve given up on keeping track.
I don’t sleep well and wake up in a wash of sweat every morning. This takes my resting bitch face (something I’ve always kind of liked) to another level.
If I have a glass of wine, my face shows it the next morning, especially in my eyes. If I don’t drink enough water, I look like I want to hurt people.
Long gone are the days when I could stay out late, eat whatever I wanted, and fall into bed without washing my face with zero consequences. These days, I love getting facials and taking the time to keep my skin care routine tight. It feels like I am taking care of me, which is important because I love all of me. I embrace this body which has served me well for 44 years, and I accept the things I can’t change.
However, there is something I can change, so I recently did: I got fillers and Botox. And I make zero apologies for it. Yes, my kids know, but I don’t think it’s going to make them grow up with a warped definition of beauty. I teach them how to love themselves and how to be kind to themselves. But I also teach them if there’s a situation they don’t like, and they can change it in a way that’s not harming others, they should.
After talking with a frown line-free friend from high school, I asked her what her secret was. Is it good genes or an amazing product?
“Oh, I get Botox twice a year. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.”
There you had it.
She was the push I needed to get a little injection help and I’m not afraid to talk about it.
I didn’t do it because I feel pressure to look younger for anyone either; this was a gift from me to me. I did it because I wanted to and because I can. I did it because I knew it would make me feel better about myself, the same way getting my hair colored and having a good brow job does.
I’d been wanting to get Botox since I turned 40. I was tired of walking by a mirror and seeing “my 11s” and the lines that ran from my nose to my mouth. The reflection looking at me didn’t match how I felt inside. My reflection looked sad, mad, and frustrated. Not older than my age, just not like the happy, energetic person I feel I am (on most days anyway).
So, a few weeks ago I got comfortable in a white leather chair and had the creases between my eyes dissolved. I got the smile lines plumped and smoothed. I walked out of there after happily handing over my money feeling like a better version of myself.
I sat in my car and looked in the rear view mirror, totally smitten with the happy person who was looking back at me. There you are, I thought.
I like not looking like I’m frowning when I’m not. I like not having two creases between my eyes that make me look like I’m squinting when I’m not. I like not looking like I’m pissed off at the world when I’m humming along happy as can be on the inside.
I don’t want to look like a different person. I like my face. I just want my outside to match my inside, and now it does.
People can say it’s vain and shallow to get injections in your face to improve your appearance. They’re entitled to their opinion, but it in no way affects me. I get to do what I want with my body and face. I have a healthy relationship with both.
Some say they don’t notice a difference at all, and that’s fine too. I notice a difference, and I’m the only person I’m trying to impress here.
I love my face without Botox and fillers, but I love it more after a little tune-up. The phrase “self-care” means different things to different people. To me, this was a big one — something I’ve been wanting to do for years — and I don’t know why I waited so long. I look better, which makes me feel better.
My looks aren’t the only thing that determines my mood, of course, but they do matter to me.
So, my fresher face makes me happier. And when I’m happier, it overflows to the people in my life. I like that part just as much as I like my smoother face, and I’ll happily share the truth about what I do to my face because there’s no shame in doing something that feels good to you.
The only opinion that matters here is mine. While other people are rolling their eyes at me, I’ll be proudly removing the lines from around mine.