When Leslie got Botox her boyfriend absolutely cracked it. But is it actually warranted?
Leslie* never thought she’d get Botox. But when she turned 36 and her much younger “fresh-faced” colleagues and friends were getting ‘preventative’ injectables, she caved and thought ‘why not’.
“It always felt like something a Real Housewife did,” she told myBody + Soul. “But it seemed that around me people were ‘dropping like flies’ and getting it done. And these people were 10 years younger than me.”
So Leslie took herself off to a clinic that was recommended by a friend and got Botox injections in her forehead to cure a frown line in between her eyebrows.
And how did she feel about the results?
“Yes, I know I should have a stronger backbone but I gave into the pressure. But damn it, I love it,” she says with a smile. “I don’t feel like my expressions or movements are restricted at all – I just look a bit brighter in the face. I had a horrible frown line between my eyebrows and that has gone.”
But despite being over the moon about her new look, Leslie says the biggest hurdle was not deciding whether or not to go ahead with it or facing the injections, but rather telling her partner she’d had it done. And just as she had feared, he “cracked it”.
“I debated whether I should tell him and then one day it just tumbled out of my mouth because I am rubbish at keeping secrets,” she said. “He looked at me like I had told him I was having a complete face reconstruction. It ended with me in tears.”
Amber* is another woman in her late twenties who was shamed into canceling her Botox appointment by her partner and her male friends prior to her wedding day.
After letting slip one night that she had booked herself in thinking it was no big deal, she was shocked the men in her life were so vehemently opposed to it and angrily talked her out of it.
While she gave in to them then, looking back now she feels strongly that no-one should bully a woman into deciding what she does with her own body.
“As a former beauty editor, I would do it now without my husband’s approval,” she told myBody + Soul. “It’s my face and I know the safety concerns. I know doctors who have mastered the art of natural looking Botox and I reckon my husband would be surprised just how many people he thinks look fabulous have had it. I feel like guys like to weigh in on things they don’t really know or aren’t informed about.”
Australians spend $ 1 billion on cosmetic surgery every year, and that figure is rising, which means more and more people are choosing to get it done.
So why is it that women are so relaxed about cosmetic injections while it seems anecdotally men feel so strongly against it? Why should women have to face the internal struggle about telling their partner? Are men really that opposed?
We asked a range of men how they would feel about their partner getting Botox, and then asked women how they thought their partner would react if they got it done to find out.
And their responses were eye-opening.
What women say about Botox:
• “I feel like some men’s opinions are super strong and I bet they wouldn’t even know if you did it. They’d probably compliment you on how good you looked. I’m for anything that anyone wants to do.”
• “I’m dead keen, but my fiancée is dead against it. But I’m getting it done anyway one day.”
• “My partner would hate it if I got it done and probably be really disappointed in me but I feel like it’s becoming more and more common these days and it’s not such a taboo among women anymore.”
• “I brought it up with my husband one day and he told me I don’t need it and would be worried I couldn’t move my face. But he really doesn’t understand.”
• “I think at first my boyfriend would be worried angry, but I’m sure once I got it done and showed him I don’t look like a freak, he’d calm down.”
• “My husband’s biggest fear is that I would end up looking like Stifler’s mom. He is clearly dead against it.”
What men say:
• “It freaks me out because I think it’s not safe and it makes people’s face look ridiculous – well some people.”
• “My fiancée doesn’t need to do anything and it would be a waste of money but if she felt really strongly about it and it would make her feel more confident then I would be okay with it, as long as it didn’t change the way she looked. I’d be annoyed if she did it without telling me though.”
• “I would be disgusted and my wife would be in big trouble. One time will turn into 20 times and then maybe I wouldn’t recognise her anymore.”
• “I wouldn’t be angry, just disappointed.”
• “How much does it cost?”
• “I like faces that move. Why would anyone want to put a toxin in their face so it doesn’t? Who would actually think that is a good idea?”
• “I would prefer my girlfriend to look natural and there’s nothing natural about Botox.”
• “No way, she knows how I feel about it. We’ve talked about it and I told her she doesn’t need it. It would be a waste of money.”
Leslie says her experience with her partner almost exactly mirrored the responses we were given, showing there is a huge disparity between how men and women view the procedure – and how uninformed men really are about it.
“After talking to him about it for a while it became clear that he had no idea how Botox actually works,” she said. “He didn’t realise it wasn’t permanent and I think in his head I was signing up for something akin to fillers that lifts that change your face in a more permanent manner. He thought I was going to end up looking like that Jocelyn Wilderstein character.”
Leslie says her boyfriend has accepted it now and acknowledges she clearly doesn’t look like a completely different person.
“I think it was just a bit of a shock,” she added, “girls talk about these things and read articles on the topic and there’s a presumed knowledge there. But guys don’t know squat.”
* Names have been changed to protect privacy.
November 9, 201611:39am