We are remarkably adept at reading facial expressions; they add immeasurable meaning to what we say. Too much Botox® inhibits your ability to express yourself and there is more to beauty than just smooth skin.
Of all the risks of Botox, the most salient is the inability to make facial expressions. For instance, I saw a woman in my clinic this week for an unrelated skin problem. (No, not the woman pictured above, I’m not that famous).
“Aren’t you a little young to be my dermatologist?” she asked, staring at me blankly.
I wasn’t sure if she was serious or joking because her face was frozen from Botox.
“No, I’ve got my driver’s license now, so my mother doesn’t have to drop me off at work,” I replied dryly.
“That’s funny,” she said, staring blankly at me.
Now I was concerned. I thought it was funny. Was it funny? Maybe it wasn’t funny.
Her Botox was keeping us from understanding each other. We’ve all seen people like her at the mall, in the grocery store, and as the subject of countless TV sitcoms: they have frozen faces that are unnatural and often unattractive. To get a sense of how important facial expressions are, check out this cool computer simulation. You’ll be amazed at how much information is conveyed through a computer animated face just by raising or lowering the eyebrows.
Think about this the next time you go for your Botox treatment: A little Botox can be beautiful. A lot of Botox can be bad.
And it is just as important to be understood as to be seen.
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Photo credit: FCC, david_shankbone