Why I’ve got the nee­dle over the rise of Bo­tox par­ties

The Guardian - G2 - - News -

A friend re­cently men­tioned some­one she had met at a les­bian Bo­tox party. “A what?” I asked. “A Bo­tox party,” she re­peated. “Don’t you know about Bo­tox par­ties?” While her face was ex­pres­sion­less, her voice was in­cred­u­lous. “Se­ri­ously, how have you never heard of this?”

Af­ter some fran­tic Googling,

I had no idea how I had never heard of Bo­tox par­ties. Ap­par­ently, it has be­come all the rage to get a group of friends to­gether at some­one’s house for wine, nib­bles and cos­metic in­jec­tions of bo­tulinum toxin from a med­i­cal pro­fes­sional. Ev­ery­one pays a set amount and it is cheaper and more com­fort­able than go­ing to a doc­tor. Be­cause the ef­fect of Bo­tox wears off af­ter a few months, these par­ties are reg­u­lar so­cial events. “It’s a good way to catch up with peo­ple,” my friend said. The party she goes to is all gay women and in­vite-only.

These gath­er­ings aren’t just favoured by mid­dle-aged les­bians. Bo­tox’s pop­u­lar­ity in the US, par­tic­u­larly among young peo­ple, has rock­eted since it was ap­proved there for cos­metic use in 2002. The Amer­i­can So­ci­ety of Plas­tic Sur­geons has noted a dra­matic in­crease in pa­tients un­der 30 get­ting “pre­ven­ta­tive” Bo­tox in re­cent years. This has been fu­elled, in part, by In­sta­gram cul­ture. And Bo­tox par­ties have been main­streamed by re­al­ity TV shows such as Real House­wives.

The rise of Bo­tox par­ties is trou­bling for sev­eral rea­sons. It’s trou­bling that so many of us have an is­sue with age­ing nat­u­rally. It’s trou­bling that peo­ple are drink­ing and driv­ing nee­dles into their face. It’s also trou­bling that I have never been to one of these par­ties when, ap­par­ently, ev­ery other gay per­son in New York has. Not that I want Bo­tox – I am just up­set I haven’t been in­vited. But it’s OK. I’m keep­ing a stiff up­per lip about it.

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