Q. Hi Meredith,
I’m 32 and have been thinking about trying Botox. I used to smoke in my early college years (I know, ew) and have the kind of fair skin that wrinkles easily. I have two friends in their late 20s who started it to prevent/delay theirs, and they love it. This would only be done twice a year at a pretty low level.
I live with my boyfriend of three years. He is caring, patient, thoughtful, supportive, and funny, and while we have our issues, we have a great relationship. He is strongly against the Botox idea. I got the sense he didn’t want me to turn into one of those women with unrecognizable faces. He wants me to stay as I am, and while that is very sweet, I don’t think he understands the pressure that is put on women. He just continues to look more handsome over time. Meanwhile, no matter how many creams I use and how much money I spend, nothing seems to be slowing down the lines on my face.
I’d love to see the angry 11s furrowing my brow be less angry, but is it worth me hiding it from him? While I don’t need his permission, I would love to have his blessing. I think he would support me (with a lot more education on what Botox entails, expectations, risks, and so on), but I don’t want him to feel disappointed by my decision or think less of me for it. Thoughts? — To Botox or not to Botox
A. The easy answer: It’s your body. Do your thing.
The more complicated answer is that your boyfriend might be trying to tell you something important about your relationship. It’s possible he doesn’t want a partner who spends a lot of time thinking about her appearance. No one has to be 100 percent confident, but if you spend a ton of energy pondering/discussing this stuff, it can affect his happiness, too.
His discomfort might also stem from not knowing his role. Is he supposed to support this? Veto your choice? There might be some relief in you telling him what you’re doing — as opposed to asking.
I do think there’s confusion when it comes to Botox; some people don’t understand how it works and what change it will bring. You should keep him in the loop no matter what, mainly because you live with him. If there are side effects, he should know what’s up.
To be fair, it’s nice to have facial expressions once in a while. RICH1273
He may be tired of you obsessing about your looks. Your decision will show him what’s most important to you. WIZEN
I’m a bit conflicted about this. I can rationalize my need to color my hair, but I can’t bring myself to support face injections. I know it’s hypocritical. LUCILLEVANPELT
This is the zenith of first world problems. FINNFANNboston.com/loveletters. Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org.