In the words of the inimitable Britney Spears, I did it again: That is, I got Botox. Late last month for the second time, I marched into Dermatologist Jeannette Graf’s Chelsea office feeling a little smug—I’d spent the last six months “admitting” to friends and perfect strangers alike that I got injectables, and though I was pretty shameless about it at first—I literally told anyone that would ask, and some more that didn’t—I quickly got comfortable bringing it up unprompted. My confession became my version of a party trick. Want to make a group of twenty-somethings go silent within seconds? Admit you’ve had an in-office procedure in broad daylight. Even better: Do it when good-looking men and women are within an earshot.
For a while, I was met with a mix of judgement and praise. “You’re so brave to admit it!” some would say, and fellow editors would talk about it as though the procedure were as commonplace as a manicure or a massage. While others—mainly my friends from New Jersey who still frequent tanning beds—would tell me how awful it probably was for it. “You don’t even need it,” they’d tell me, furrowing their own brows at me for “cheating.”
And they were right—I didn’t need it, but that was the point. I’d first gotten preventative Botox in September, and though it took a bit of convincing, I really enjoyed the experience: I didn’t have many fine lines or wrinkles to speak of, but I got used to how I looked without any sign of 11s forming between my brows, and my eyes didn’t look tired all the damn time—a tiny miracle! It was those small, almost imperceptible differences that made me Botox’s biggest cheerleader. Still, there was some part of me that kept telling myself that it was just for work—that I needed some first-hand research on a procedure I write about all the time—and that I probably wouldn’t do it again.
But when the Botox started to wear off earlier this year, I was first in line to go back, something Dr. Graf says is way more common than you’d think: “I’d say the vast majority, over 75 percent, come back for Botox once they’ve had it,” she said. “Most come regularly, or if they’re busy, once they notice they’re frowning again, back they come!”