No Botox for Me

Why Cosmetic Injections Send the Wrong Message

by: Erica Ehm
I will never do cosmetic injections.

The idea makes me queasy - not because it means inserting needles in one's face, or because you're injecting yourself with a poison. It bothers me because it preys on women's insecurities.

The message is this: getting old is bad. Old is useless. Old is ugly. Get old and you'll lose your lover, husband, partner, job. And yet, were all getting older by the second. If the anti-aging contingent can brainwash us|,they stand to make a mint. This infuriates me.

Here's what I believe. Old is wise. Old is my Beautiful Grandmother. Old has weathered the storm and lives to tell. Why erase the lines on faces that tell the stories of a life.

But here's my double standard. When I go out, makeup on, hair done, clothes just right, I swoon when old friends rave that I haven't aged since my days at MuchMusic. I know they're exaggerating; 2 kids and 20 years later has an affect on one's appearance and yet the compliments feel great. Why? Because I want to be beautiful, vital and relevant.

I guess that's why I found myself booking an appointment for an age defying injection this morning.

Shocked? So was I. Let me explain. As fate would have it, I was guest hosting on a morning television show featuring a cosmetic dermatologist. I interviewed her while she injected a woman's forehead.

After our on-camera chat, the doctor offered to give me a free injection. I explained why I had to proudly decline. Well, I don't know what happened, but for every one of my points she had a compelling counterpoint. I was being seduced.

We agreed to meet the next afternoon for a quick injection with only half the amount of botulism serum so I can test it. She assured me nobody would know our secret.

My moral compass was clearly out of whack.

Before my afternoon appointment I had booked a brunch with a couple of girlfriends, both in their late thirties. While sipping lattes, I announced that I had made an appointment to get injected that afternoon.

"Don't do it" said my one friend.
"I just want to try it" I explained.
"No REALLY don't do it!"

She went on to confess how a year earlier, while getting micro-dermabrasion, her esthetician suggested she try a cosmetic injection. So she did. What followed was months of migraines, lack of energy and deep depression. She searched online and discovered many other women with the same post-injection symptoms.

The spell was broken. What was I thinking?

I went to the bathroom and took a long look in the mirror. I earned all those smile and worry lines. I'm proud of who I am. I'm loved for who I am. I'm damn yummy. Sticking needles in my face will never make me a better person.

I always tell my four year old daughter she's just as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside. And so am I. Aren't you?

Erica Ehm has gone from rock'n roll to rocking the cradle. After a decade starring on MuchMusic, she had kids and is the founder of and the Ehm & Co, a digital agency focused on moms. Erica's two teens Josh and Jessie, and hubby Terry help her put life into perspective.