Aging Gracefully, Newsletter Spring/Summer 2015
The number one concern for people thinking about getting fillers is “looking like themselves” after they are done. We’ve all seen photos of celebrities who don’t seem to look like themselves anymore. We are familiar with the look in Hollywood, Miami and NY of women with duck-like lips and huge cheekbones.
As a BOTOX and filler patient, I can tell you what it has done for me. I have more confidence and I think I look better than I did 10 years ago. I have worked hard at my fitness and eating healthy and I have continued to have tightening of my face (Ultherapy®, Themage® and Pelleve®) as well as fillers (Voluma®, Juvederm®, Restylane® and Sculptra®) to enhance my looks without altering who I am.
Whenever someone looks at me in a consult and says “I want to look natural” I usually say “I also want you to look natural… Do I look ‘done’?” At Advanced Dermatology, we really dislike the unnatural or “done” look. I cringe when I see this in people when I am out and even at dermatology meetings some of the dermatologists themselves look unnatural.
There is a difference between enhancing your natural features and giving you an artificial look. Getting older involves losing fat and collagen in the face that leads to sagging and wrinkles. Sagging and wrinkles make people look haggard and tired. People judge us by our looks all the time; even people who believe that the inner person is more important that the outer person. We often will say “Oh, you look great” and that doesn’t just mean you got a new purse or outfit. It means you look healthy; healthy and haggard do not go together. When someone is ill their skin becomes sallow and drawn and they lose weight and become gaunt. This “unhealthy” look and “haggard” or aging look are a bit similar. If you look at a professional person and haven’t seen them in a year and you comment under your breath, “Wow they have aged,” then you are guilty of judging someone by their looks for aging. It has been shown we can pick up on visual cues by looking at someone almost instantly: how old they are, how sick or healthy they are, how sexually attractive they are. Science has shown that even people from different age groups and ethnicities can judge these things within 30 seconds of viewing another person. So as human beings, we are constantly sizing each other up. Women are hardwired to want to be and feel attractive. While this can be true for men also, they may be more focused on other attributes. Although it is just as common now for men to realize that an enhancement here and there does NOT threaten their masculinity.
Nobody said getting older was easy! Many people have told me they want to “age gracefully” but in my book aging gracefully means regular enhancements to stay looking like you are “still in the game”.