My late mother was a beautiful woman. Tall and womanly, perfect mouth, sculpted nose…cheek bones up to there. Me? I look like my dad. My brother was the model and carrier of my mother’s features.

And you know what? It never bothered me one bit. For me, outward beauty has always been like ability to play great tennis: it’s just one of many talents. I don’t feel particularly jealous of my gorgeous friends in the same way I don’t feel envious of my friends who sing beautifully or play the violin like a master.

The last few weeks I’ve noticed that my face is changing. Some lines are becoming deeper and there’s suddenly…let’s call it a ‘softness’…around my jawline.

Yes, I said softness, damnit. But if you want to call it sagging, go ahead.

A close friend has invited me to her doctor for some Botox injections and fillers. She leaned toward me over the table where we were having lunch and drew invisible lines on my face with her finger where she thought I need fillers.

Definitely under the eyes.

Oh, and deeeeefinitely in these lines on either side of your mouth.

And here.

And there.

And if you fix this and this, your resting bitch face will be a thing of the past.

Apparently I need a complete face-transplant coz the whole thing seems to need injection with stuff that kills human tissue or can straigthen the Tower of Pisa.

Of course, my friend is gorgeous and looks 20 years old. And the things she said are super tempting. Who wouldn’t want to turn back the desecrating hands of Time? Who doesn’t want full lips and baby-butt-smooth skin?

So my friend offered to make an appointment for us. We could go together and make it a girls’ day of self-improvement… End with lunch and some good wine…

But me…I find answers in money, baby. I asked: Okay then…how much would this little exercise cost?

Then she told me.

And like the sun ascends from its little hiding place behind the horizon in the East, clarity enlightened the dusty corners of my mind where vanity hides.

Oh, heeeell no! I am not paying that for a new face. Come to think of it, I like my face. It’s been through some shit. And my resting bitch face is great for students and even greater for being a prosecutor. And lines….lines are sexy, just look at Helen Mirren, that lady is goddess-like. Soon it’ll be Mercury, Helen, Earth, Mars, Jupiter…

Self-improvement? For that money I can enrol for almost an entire year of studying something new. Which is what I did. I ditched the ‘tox, and enrolled for a bachelor’s degree in creative writing. And I’m sure I’ll spend the entire time regretting it because who has the time, but darnit I can’t wait…

But let me also be clear, I don’t judge my friend or other women who self-improve by way of the ‘tox and the fillz. I’d like to think I’m open-minded enough to live and let live. My friend had her self-improvements and she looks great. Ultimately I think the choice to ‘tox or not to ‘tox depends on you, and up-the-bum to everyone else. My own self-confidence has never come from anything you can see…so I’m unlikely to spend my little money there.

My own mom struggled with ageing. She received treatment (I can’t tell you what, I didn’t ask) for terrible bags under her eyes and it did great things for her confidence and lightness of spirit. She was no longer ashamed of the glaring signs that she was no longer young, and for her, that was money well spent.

I’d still rather buy wine and books. But that might change as my face changes. Who knows? Maybe before I turn 50, I’ll pay to look like a little girl again!

But first…this ol’ bag will have some wine!

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