This past week Observation of a Nerd posted a blog about Botox. Considering that I have a mother reaching a particular age (that I won’t mention here, you’re welcome, mom) and she’s been rambling about getting a face-lift and not being able to afford it “like those rich celebrities” yada yada, I decided to read it before “mark[ing] as read.” Apparently Botox, by altering the muscles in your face that control frowning can help manipulate your emotions.
Botox is a prescription medicine; it is a purified protein that temporarily improves the look of moderate-to-severe frown lines between the brows. It is administered through a nonsurgical treatment: injections directly into the muscles between the brows. It works by blocking nerve impulses to the injected muscle which prevents activity that causes persistent lines to form. Regardless of whether or not my mom has wrinkles or needs this, mind you is of lesser importance. The experiment however, was incredible. What these scientists did was give randomly chosen participants (at their will) different sentences to spark reactions—sad, angry and happy, to which they measured reaction times. They then gave them Botox treatments and did the same. Apparently, when reading the happy sentences the reaction times did not vary, however sad or angry comments showed a slower reaction time. While it is common that Botox prevents muscular action (as is the point) could it be true that it alters emotional reactions as well. Further, is this a bad thing? I guess the bigger problem is as follows: your reactions are delayed because your muscles are temporarily paralyzed. So you got your Botox, looking 27, working it down the street and a psycho pulls a gun on you. Are you so enthralled with your lack of facial abilities to realize you’re in danger and react properly? (Assuming your firm, youthful new face doesn’t immediately sway your attacker, that is). Rather, a child being kidnapped in your witness…and you don’t realize the danger in the situation until much later. I realize these scenarios may be extreme but who’s to say that’s not the case? Is it worth putting mental functionality on hold to look 23? I don’t think so. I guess I’m “too young” to understand but I don’t see the necessity in injecting your face (of all places!) with something to paralyze your muscles and slow reaction times. I’ll probably re-visit this opinion in about 20 years; let’s see how I react then.