Today I have the debut guest post on the site Making Midlife Matter writing about women’s desires to erase the laugh lines of life from their faces with a ubiquitous injection.
My article is a lightly edited version of an anti-Botox post I wrote in the fall. The day I published the original on my blog (Don’t read it, read the one on the new site…fewer typos for me and more traffic for them…) I met a friend for lunch. She is not a regular reader (I KNOW and I STILL eat with her…but I don’t buy her lunch) I asked her what she thought about plastic surgery and she floored me with this one. “I am thinking about having my lips done. My vaginal lips.”
Four responses crowded my brain at once
- What. The. Fuck.
- By the time they are down there no one cares what it looks like anyways.
- Other than Georgia O’Keefe I don’t know many people that consider vaginas to be as beautiful as flowers.
- I can’t wait to get this on my blog. (Maybe I should buy her lunch.)
I spat out something like “Fuck my ugly vagina blog down there.” It was her time to be confused. After a few calming sips of herbal tea I was ready to try again. I went with my most uplifting rebuttal:
By the time he (in her case) is down there he isn’t thinking about what your vagina LOOKS like. He is pot committed. I mean, he is already all in. What IS it with the poker. He is ready to poke-her. Oh god the tea isn’t working. I decided to cash in my chips and stopped screeching my outrage.
She is calm as she responds. “The surgery has a 90% success rate.”
I am less calm. “Ninety percent??? What could the other 10% feel like.”
I needed more than a few sips of tea as I contemplated these women, propped on pillows, swollen in pain, watching Downtown Abbey and slamming tequila shooters. These were the 90% success women. The other 10% were mangled, numb, or unable to come. Probably all three. Even tequila and the dowager countess would be at a loss with their loss.
Finally I calmed down enough to talk about the upside of plastic surgery. If someone is fixated on a particular part of themselves that can be “cured” by a simple surgery why not pay for that confidence. We do a version of this when we wax our legs and put on heels.
Make up has been around for over 6,000 years. A little injection, insertion, snip or tuck is simply progress. Or so the argument goes. I don’t even brush my hair so it comes as no surprise that I am arguing the extreme case for comfort over cosmetics.
A few weeks later at a “Ladies Mexican Fiesta” fundraiser for our public school I bring up the topic to a handful of women in the kitchen. I told you tequila would figure into this.
One sane woman walked out. The rest of us, various shades of blonde, debated the lip surgery. One or two never got past the idea that we were talking about lips that live beneath our nose despite my repeated cries of “VAGINAL lips.” More party goers seemed open to the idea than I would have guessed. I trod the five house home in my clogs and wondered what the ravages of time and hopefully other ravages have done to us.
What it comes down to down there is that the middle aged vagina shows it’s story the way the middle aged face does. Kids and love and lust have all left their mark. Why would we erase that?