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To Botox or Not to Botox?

Should I Get Botox?

That is the question.

This month, a reader sent in this request.

Question:  How do you approach all of these cosmetic techniques – BotoxUltherapySculptra, – even plastic surgery?  Are they psychologically unhealthy to do?  Do they mean that I am not accepting my aging?  Or do they mean that I am doing what is within my power to help myself feel better about it?  I am almost scared to say anything because people have such strong opinions about it.  Thanks.

I was getting my nails done (a clue perhaps to my bent on this issue…) when I saw Tyne Daly of Cagney & Lacey fame on the TV screen above me.  Being interviewed by Katie Couric.  The sound was turned way down so I couldn’t exactly hear what they were saying.  Her movements were incredibly natural.  Wide smile. A baudy laugh erupted every now and then.  Silver hair.  Wrinkles front and center.  Legs that looked liked she could be in the Rockettes.


Tyne Daly and her brother, Tim Daly
Photo: Wikipedia – David Shankbone, photographer

She’s 68.

Publicity about her states she has had no “work” done.

Compare her to Jane Fonda.  A little older – around 75 I think.  Open about having cosmetic surgery.  Looks tighter than Tyne. Hair is colored.  Also very attractive.


Jane Fonda. Photo: Wikipedia, Georges Baiard

Who is healthier?  Who is happier?

You would have to ask them.  What I do know is that the way you look is not going to make you happy.  Extremely beautiful people can be miserable.

I made my choice.  I started getting Sculptra about 5 years ago.  I don’t have total family support on the matter.  My son thinks it’s ridiculous.

I’m here to tell you those needles sting like the devil.

I don’t get Botox because I want my face to move.  Other folks swear by the stuff.

I certainly understand the reasoning behind aging naturally.  In fact, there really is no “reasoning”.  Our parts gravitating southward.  Hallmarks of having walked the earth for a while.

I think it has its own beauty and grace, quite apart from the beauty of youth.

I pluck the stiff gray hair that now pokes out of my chin every six weeks or so.  I work out.  I lather my skin with heavier forms of body lotion.  Thank goodness for Ibuprofen for joint pain.  I had rotator cuff surgery when my shoulder went out.

My professional opinion?  Doing something to alter the way you look is not inherently psychologically unhealthy, unless there is a Body Dysmorphic Disorder (or other psychological disturbance) underneath it.  That is when there is an obsession over a perceived defect in appearance, causing intense depression and anxiety.

But there is a more important point. At least to me.

What I really hope is that we women, or whatever men might jump into the fray, aren’t judgmental with each other.  In the past, for example, the media has fanned the flame of “working” moms versus “stay-at-home”mom into such a frenzy that we have eyed one another distrustfully.  Like there was a right choice or a wrong choice.

Let’s not let that happen here.

If the only thing that has touched your face in the last 20 years is Pond’s cold cream,(affiliate link) I still hope that you can accept Sculptra-sculpted me.

I will return the favor.

Feeling good about yourself.  Enjoying the time we are lucky enough to have.  Supporting each other.

That’s what is healthy.

Would love your comments below!  As always thanks for reading!  If you have a question or a private comment, send them to me at  I will answer!

midlife boulevard, columnist, midlife women, middle-age, midlife crisis

Dr. Margaret Rutherford

Dr. Margaret Rutherford has been in practice in Fayetteville, Arkansas for over 20 years. She began blogging in 2012 with the website “NestAche”, and following with in April 2014. Her work can be found here on Midlife Boulevard, as well as the Huffington Post, Boomeon, WeWantMore, BetterAfter50 and Arkansas Women Bloggers.

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Mindy Mitchell

Thursday 15th of May 2014

For Botox, it is important to get someone who really does it alot so they know what they are doing. There is a cause/effect in placement. You can also ask for a smaller needle to ease the pinch. I don't even feel it. I do know that people tend to ask me why I am worried when the Botox is wearing off...which tells me that it does, indeed, improve my countenance. I am not frozen-looking but I only use it around my forehead and eyes for lifting. It is a personal preference and definitely a 'want to' not a 'must have'.

Dr.Margaret Rutherford

Thursday 15th of May 2014

Good point Mindy. As I was saying yesterday to Anne, I may very well get tired of the whole thing and stop. Definitely fueled by desire. And of course the ability to do it in the 1st place. Getting someone who knows what they are doing is vital as well as you so aptly point out! Thank you so much for commenting!

Carpool Goddess

Wednesday 14th of May 2014

You look amazing so now I'm curious what Sculptra is. Details please :)

Dr. Margaret Rutherford

Wednesday 14th of May 2014

Thank you my friend. What I understand about it is that it works with your already existent collagen to develop more of its own. If their are any dermatologists that read this, please correct me if I am wrong! I was told that it was initially developed for AIDS patients who were becoming quite sunken in their appearance. It lasts at least 5 years! That's a huge plus because it's more expensive than other treatments!

Kristen Houghton

Wednesday 14th of May 2014

I totally agree with having some work done if it is going to make you feel better about your looks. When we feel good about ourselves, it enhances our lives. I have had laser resurfacing to remove sunspots and do intend to have some cosmetic tightening done in the future. You can read why in my HuffPost article.

Dr. Margaret Rutherford

Wednesday 14th of May 2014

I will give it a look-see Kristin! Thanks for commenting!

Claudia Schmidt

Wednesday 14th of May 2014

I would never judge you for doing any face work! We all need to do what's right for us. I've been thinking about either botox or restylane for a while now, just too scared to go ahead with it and averse to needles but I might bite the bullet either this or next year as I'm getting so annoyed at all the drooping going on with my face :)

Dr. Margaret Rutherford

Wednesday 14th of May 2014

My experience? They do sting but only for a bit. I would also advise you to ask around a lot. For example, my M.D. has done all my procedures. She's had lots of training. The training is the key!

Anne Parris

Wednesday 14th of May 2014

I've mostly seen great Botox. I'm just afraid of having some sort of reaction, because that seems to be my luck.

I'd rather spend my face-money on skin care and other less invasive treatments, i.e. no needles. Hoping laser treatments come down in price so it's something women can do routinely and inexpensively.

Dr. Margaret Rutherford

Wednesday 14th of May 2014

I get it. That was my choice - until I hit the early 50's. Who knows? I may change my mind back the other way! And I use those creams as well! Thanks Anne!

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