Frozen with fear

Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - NEWS -

Age­ing, and the fear of it, is a hot topic right now. You might as­sume it just seems that way to me be­cause I’m 45 and those bells la­belled in­vis­i­bil­ity, re­dun­dancy and so­cial scrapheap are tolling louder.

But turn up the vol­ume – I’m not scared. I swear it isn’t me who’s angst­ing; it’s the 20-some­things – they’re ter­ri­fied. Google it. Those lit­tle dewy-skinned nymphs are queu­ing for Bo­tox. Bo­tox – at $600 a ses­sion! It hor­ri­fies me that at age 25 the funnest thing a young per­son can think to do with her time and money is make a bor­ing trip to a clinic for an un­com­fort­able in­jec­tion in the name of “age preven­tion”. Please. Sun­burn can be pre­vented. Chipped nail pol­ish can (sup­pos­edly) be pre­vented. Age is a close per­sonal friend of death and taxes.

It’s not that I’m against Bo­tox or fillers or even surgery per se. Get­ting older is a drag, and if it helps to walk into those years with re­duced fa­cial move­ment, go for it. But if you’re un­der 30, please. Don’t blow your hard-earned cash on shoot­ing-up bo­tulinum toxin in the de­luded hope that in 20-odd years you won’t be 50. When I was 25 (yes, of course that was com­ing) young peo­ple knew how to squan­der their stu­dent loans. They bought al­co­hol. They bought chalky dark bur­gundy lip­sticks and tick­ets to Thai­land. Maybe they bought a jumbo bucket of KFC and sat alone in their room eat­ing it be­fore hang­ing over the toi­let with their fin­gers down their throat. That, in my view, is a more hon­est use of a 20-some­thing’s re­sources. And prob­a­bly just as ef­fec­tive at ward­ing off mid­dle-age.

I see this grow­ing mar­ket of youth­ful Bo­tox­ers as one of the many ways that fem­i­nism, for all its cur­rent on-trend sta­tus, is not ad­vanc­ing. It is re­treat­ing. How many men pay this hefty tax on their faces?

This is mas­sive busi­ness. Ac­cord­ing to Zion Mar­ket Re­search, the anti-age­ing mar­ket is poised to grow from US$140.3 bil­lion (in 2015) to US$216.52 bil­lion 2021.

While young women raid their rent money in the name of “age preven­tion” some of those who make these prom­ises are laugh­ing all the way to a five-star re­sort on the Sey­chelles.

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