My Botox Habit Is Existential

It's not so much about looking younger as it is about not getting older.


I pride myself on being low maintenance. I have three pairs of pants I wear in rotation, and two are the exact same Levi’s. I’ll put on eyeliner and mascara for a first date, but I wouldn’t even know how to apply anything more. And I have a long mane of blonde hair that has never been dyed in a salon—a few spritzes of Sun-In keeps it light.

But I do have one high maintenance habit: Botox. For the last decade, every four months I’ve gotten injections to freeze the small muscles of my forehead. 

The first time I did it was sort of an accident. I was twenty-five and had no wrinkles whatsoever. But when I accompanied my 40-year-old friend to her appointment, she encouraged me to do what she called “the best thing [she] had ever done.” 

Her doctor glanced at my pristine skin and agreed. “The earlier you start the better,” she said, her cool fingers resting on my forehead, “That way you can be young forever.” 

Young forever. It was the promise of fables and science fiction, and certainly an impossibility in the real world—but put that way, it got me. 

“Do it,” I immediately replied.

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