As much as aging is not something anyone looks forward to, it’s an inevitable process we have to either suffer through or learn to accept. At a young age, we seem to be convinced that wrinkled, older people belong to a different species or social class. Then, those wrinkles start surfacing on our own faces and we remember the advice we never heeded and we think back to all those years of tanning, smoking, over-drinking, overeating, yo-yo dieting, and not getting enough sleep! By that time, it’s too late to erase what time and unhealthy habits have done to accelerate the aging process. And for those of us who relentlessly hope to fight the aging process without going under the knife, Botox was born!

If your butt is sagging, you can tone it, along with your tummy and legs. You can improve your figure and slow down your body’s aging process with exercise and a healthy diet. Sure, you have to work harder as you age in order to get similar results, yet it can be done. But your face is a totally different story. No matter what techniques you try—not smiling, expensive creams, and facial exercises (yes, there are some out there who claim they can improve facial tone)—they won’t do jack. Sorry! The only effective options are cosmetic surgery, Botox, or a whole new wave of procedures that have the potential to make you look like a swollen, disfigured puppet if you are not careful! Botox seems to be the least invasive—one simple shot, and your frown lines are gone for a few months!

Read Related: How to Love Yourself in a World Defined by Plastic Surgery

I was once offered free Botox by a plastic surgeon. I had just turned 40 and my wrinkles were starting to be pretty obvious from all my years of unprotected tanning and smoking, and of course the natural progress of time. The surgeon was a handsome man in his 40s, who told me he injected it in his own face as well as that of his friends, so he could bring it along to any of our meetings (I was his Spanish teacher) at any time at no cost to me. Well, I chose not to. Yes—I said no to free Botox, for three main reasons:

  • I knew I would become addicted and go knocking on his door time and time again for my anti-wrinkle fix.
  • I am a very expressive person, and as a teacher, I like to use my facial expressions to convey a concept or a feeling. If I had Botox done, I believe I’d lose one of my most valuable teaching tools: the ability to move my facial muscles as fully as needed.
  • Most importantly, I’ve always had a hard time accepting myself. If I resorted to youth-enhancing practices like Botox, I would further feed that need to use outside methods to love myself.

I need to like myself from the inside, just as I am, wrinkles and all. Because those are my scars, my battles won and lost, and that’s who I am. I can’t stop time and I will never win the war against aging. Instead, I plan to age gracefully, take care of my body and mind, and let my wrinkles do the talking. What is your take on anti-aging procedures such as Botox?