January 2, 2010

"Botox is becoming the new face of beauty and it’s unfortunate because it makes everybody look like Satan’s children."

Said Stevie Nicks, who had Botox and hated it: "For four long months, I looked like a different person. It almost brought down the whole production of the last tour. It was so bad, I would look into the mirror and burst into tears."

That's the appropriate reaction, and I wish more people would have it. By the way, do you think Botox might be the explanation for the strangely blank face Janet Napolitano presented to the world last Sunday?

At the time, I said: "That bland half-smile — that numb mask — those unblinking, wide eyes ... the visual is weirdly incongruent with the audio." That wouldn't explain the slurred speech, though, which I'm surprised didn't draw more commentary in a week when lots of people focused on the slurred speech of Senator Baucus.

In sum: Everybody stop with the Botox. As for slurred speech, it works for some.

If you aren't someone it works for... enunciate.


TheCrankyProfessor said...

Hmmm - maybe so. Botox and some valium.

If I were in her position *I'd* have needed valium to get through her week.

Thomas Szasz may have been a nutcase, but his occasional aside on the medication habits of the Carter White House make really interesting reading.

ironrailsironweights said...

Daily life for affluent 40ish housewives would be unbearably boring without the periodic Botox parties. Though I suppose they could act like sorority girls and have bulimia parties instead.


AllenS said...

That strangely blank face on Janet Napolitano's face is natural. I'm against botox, but for breast enhancement.

Bruce Hayden said...

It can do wonders though. Had breakfast with an old girlfriend recently as I drove from NV to CO. She is about Ann's age, and last time I saw her, maybe 5 years ago, she was looking awfully lined. Since then, she has had a kidney replacement, and, apparently Botox. And looks at least 5 years younger than she did 5 years ago.

I frankly don't blame the women who are trying to slow up the appearance of aging. Someone several years ago pointed out that many women in our society spend decades where they are given precedence based solely on their sex and looks. And then, all of a sudden, they are invisible.

EDH said...

"...unfortunate because it makes everybody look like Satan's children."

What have you done to its eyes?

He has his father's eyes.

...What have you done to him? You maniacs!

Ann Althouse said...

"What have you done to its eyes?"

LOL, we just chanced upon the end of "Rosemary's Baby" the other day.

I still don't get how it would work for Satan's spawn to have screwed up eyes. What influence could he have? Satan is supposed to insinuate himself into our lives, not freak us out immediately. Is the kid going to do all his evil work in sunglasses?

Ann Althouse said...

Uh, Bruce, nice empathy there with your kidney-transplant friend.

Paul said...

Keith Richards was cool, he expresses himself coherently, but those teeth! He makes Austin Powers look like Tom Cruise.

As for Napolitano, who learned nothing from another Janet named Reno (in deference to MoDo that's how I will refer to her from now on), she looks like a typical low-level clueless droning bureaucrat. Unfortunately, she happens to be a high-level clueless droning bureaucrat.

rhhardin said...

I would look into the mirror and burst into tears.

Dogs have a healthier regard for mirrors. If it doesn't smell, it isn't there.

somefeller said...

On the subject of Keith Richards, I just finished reading "What Would Keith Richards Do?, which I got as a Christmas gift. Great book, on many levels.

William said...

I can understand a great beauty like Meg Ryan wanting to extend the magic for a few years. But Janet Napolitano?...I think Angela Merkel has made better choices about her appearance than Nancy Pelosi. The right lines and wrinkles can add character and kindness to a woman's face.... .When I pay twelve dollars for a movie, I want to see someone young and impossibly beautiful to act out my fantasies. In real life, I put the accent mark on companionability and kindness.

PatCA said...

I think Napo looked blank because she was trying so hard to stay on message. Too bad the message was written by someone with the sense of a high school sophomore.

Michael said...


You have it exactly right. Watch these lefties on TV and you will see how desperate they are to look normal and calm and intelligent and thoughtful while they are spilling out talkiing points learned by heart. Some are better than others. None are great. Janet is simply awful in every respect.

Bruce Hayden said...

Uh, Bruce, nice empathy there with your kidney-transplant friend.

Maybe it didn't sound very good. When I complimented her on how much younger she looked (because her facial lines were so much less noticeable), she first attributed it to the transplant, and keeping herself healthy to avoid another one (this was her third, over 20 years). And then she admitted to a little bit of Botox and maybe some other external work.

I think that part of it was the transplant, but having seen her well before she went on dialysis, I think that the Botox was doing a lot of the work.

Interestingly though, I wouldn't have known about it if she hadn't volunteered the information. She seemed to be indicating that most of the other women she knew in their late 50s were doing it, and so it wasn't anything special.

Bob_R said...

One of the easiest arguments for private vs. public funding of health care is to line up 100 Americans and 100 Brits and have them all smile.

Freeman Hunt said...

I still don't get how it would work for Satan's spawn to have screwed up eyes. What influence could he have? Satan is supposed to insinuate himself into our lives, not freak us out immediately. Is the kid going to do all his evil work in sunglasses?

Exact same thought I had at the end of that movie.

"Hi--whoa there!"
"Uh, your eyes... wow!"
"Sorry, it's just..."
"Just what?"
"Well, they look..."
"Look what?"
"They look uh, glow-y. Sort of."
"Sort of? What do they really look like?"
"Well, to be honest, they look a little bit ..."
"Yes? What?"
"Satanic. A lot Satanic maybe."
"Damn, look at the time. Gotta go! Contacts, maybe. Have you looked into contacts? Bye!"

Makes no sense if world domination is the goal.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

I wonder how different the media's reaction would be if it were Palin delivering these inane talking points with that glassy-eyed hollowness?

I think I already know the sanswer

Jeff with one 'f' said...


JohnG said...

Never really thought about Janet Napolitano being a Botox queen.

What bothers me is Hillary's transformations. She goes from having those chipmunk jowls to smooth as glass facial tone.

Don't know for sure, but I suspect she's an even bigger user of Botox.

Patm said...

Napolitano ALWAYS presents that blank face.

She is not a smart woman.

Amos said...

That's not fair.

Nancy Pelosi looks like Satan's grandmother.

Breast enhancement is horrible, Allen. Looks decent in a shirt, terrible out of it; it's permanent and looks just plain silly on older women.

There is more beauty in the varieties of the body than we give them credit for.

jgm said...

Hair Satan! (Is that in the movie, or just the book?)

Kevin Walsh said...

I have 3 female friends in their early 50s, they stay away from junk, they exercise and they look younger than Springtime. OK, Linda works out vigorously 3 times a week, but still, no Botox needed -- not a line on any of their faces.


Wacky Hermit said...

I don't think people should try to fight the appearance of aging. Sure, at first it's nice to look 5 years younger, and that first Botox treatment really helps. But then you have two choices: you can keep it up, or you can stop. If you stop, then you suddenly look as if you've aged however-many years it's been since you started rolling back the clock; and if you keep it up, you eventually become a 75 year old trying to look 40 and it's so obvious it's pathetic. Men with their three-hair combovers and too-tight shirts and women with stretched faces and too-black hair which they push back with their wrinkled hands. To me that's NOT the look of beauty, that's the look of people so pathetic that they can't gracefully accept the fact that they got older.

Charlie Martin said...

Janet just sounds like she's got a cold over the usual southwestern accent.

michaele said...

John G, speaking of Hillary...it crossed my mind that our Sec. of State has been invisible during the past or so because she is having some "work done" and isn't yet presentable looking. The cosmetic enhancement might have been deemed desirable because of the flirtation she has going on with her young British counterpart, David Miliband. Google " hillary david milibrand flirting " and a doozy of a picture will come up.

Stephen Snell said...

Keith Richards is the Abe Vigoda of Rock-n-Roll.

Carolyn said...

I worked on the original registration of Botox. Amazing how fast cosmetic uses were discovered after approval for serious conditions involving muscle spasm.

Comrade X said...

janet may have had a glass of wine or two, but i don't think she's drunk-drunk like a max baucus floor of the senate bender

Kinsey Holley said...

I don't think I'd ever use Botox, just because it's so obvious and it makes you look so strange. Quite frankly, tho, if I have the money in twenty years (probably won't), I'd consider a face lift. I've never been terribly vain, but I find the prospect of aging a lot more troubling than I thought I would. I inherited my mom's skin, so my face looks 10 years younger than my age, but I see evidence elsewhere - brown spots, loose skin where there wasn't loose skin just 5 years ago, and my hands - I'm getting old-looking hands.

I'm not proud of the way it's bugging me, but there it is. So I can't judge a woman who doesn't want to age naturally.

I love Stevie Nicks. I know she's been a kook, but she's just cool. When I was a teenager, I wanted to dress just like her.

traditionalguy said...

Napolitano needs to avoid Botox. Her problem is her lifeless glazed over eyes reveal that she is merely a vantriloquist's dummy mouthing the words of another person. That deadness is sort of hidden when a speaker has a lively facial expression going like many TV talking heads manage. But mixing Napolitano's eyes with a botox paralyzed face leaves a Manequin Mask that scares people used to talking with living persons that have a soul.

Freeman Hunt said...

Alpha hydroxy acid and sunscreen everyday. You don't have to buy a fancy brand. Wal-Mart even has a store brand version. Start ASAP, and you will greatly slow the clock.

No surgery, no injections, no weird-looking face. Just graceful, but slower, aging.

I knew a woman who was about sixty-five and looked forty. What did she use on her face? Crisco! I've never tried that, but if you do, let me know how it goes for you.

Freeman Hunt said...

Good face lifts certainly look better than Botox, but perhaps it's wrong to encourage people to undergo unnecessary surgeries.

I've heard that the best time for a face lift is between forty and fifty. The skin is still young, so it heals very well, and there's very little mask effect because there's not as much loose skin. Yet, it gives a big jump on the clock.

But then, I hope that I never decide to have one.

ironrailsironweights said...

Breast enhancement is horrible, Allen. Looks decent in a shirt, terrible out of it; it's permanent and looks just plain silly on older women.

Fake boobs or the Hideous Pedophilic Bald Eagle ... hard to decide which is worse.


Hucbald said...

"By the way, do you think Botox might be the explanation for the strangely blank face Janet Napolitano presented to the world last Sunday?"

Mmmm, nah. I think the fact that Napolitano really is Satan's daughter has everything to do with that.

Or, alternately, it could be the absence of anything resembling a brain in her head.

Synova said...

In Napolitano's case it's probably just that she's a little bit heavy so she's got more natural fat under her skin.

I think about that sometimes and I think it sabotages my attempts to lose weight.

Freeman Hunt said...

I think Napolitano just has bureaucrat face. Lots of them have that look.

Trish said...

I am trying with some desperation to conjure one person, male or female, that has visibly improved with these injections under the skin.
The flesh, as it ages, does odd and very unattractive things, but as of yet, I don't see any examples of age-defying procedure that haven't left the wearer just as unflattering.


Understanding fully well the graceful resignation required to allow for age to remain so worn, not vainly succumbing to the idea that somehow lips I've never had or frozen features defying reality would be preferable.

As I approach the mirror, I reflect the life I've lead. On less romantic days, I curse the vision and something I don't quite recognize anymore.
On those days, I look to someone else who has inspired me.

What would Lauren Hutton do?

Palladian said...

Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas

Palladian said...

It was not in the first few moments that I saw all these things, though I saw more of them in the first moments than might be supposed. But I saw that everything within my view which ought to be white, had been white long ago, and had lost its lustre and was faded and yellow. I saw that the bride within the bridal dress had withered like the dress, and like the flowers, and had no brightness left but the brightness of her sunken eyes. I saw that the dress had been put upon the rounded figure of a young woman, and that the figure upon which it now hung loose had shrunk to skin and bone. Once, I had been taken to see some ghastly waxwork at the Fair, representing I know not what impossible personage lying in state. Once, I had been taken to one of our old marsh churches to see a skeleton in the ashes of a rich dress that had been dug out of a vault under the church pavement. Now, waxwork and skeleton seemed to have dark eyes that moved and looked at me. I should have cried out, if I could.

Eric Jablow said...

WAMU-FM and NPR talk show host Diane Rehm takes off work every so often for Botox treatments on her vocal cords. I don't see many other reasons for Botox.

Palladian said...

Vulnerant omnes, ultima necat

The Crack Emcee said...

Poor Stevie Nicks:

She never knew that music isn't for the eyes but for the ears,...

Trish said...

Typo. Lead = led.
But you knew that...

WV, urinnest. Sounds strangely like a new cosmetic injection.

Juba Doobai! said...

Yes, she's botoxed. Look at the first three minutes of vid and watch her eyebrows. Eyebrows tell us what our foreheads ought to be doing. Eyebrow down, forehead smooth (unless we have a furrowed forehead). Eyebrows up, forehead furrowed, even more so if the forehead has lines in relaxation mode.

Napolitano raises her eyebrows and the skin under the botox moves up but the botox stays firm. No furrows, no upward movement of the forehead. In fact, the botox on her forehead looks like a fibreglass layer hiding the furrows.

You're actually seeing two faces if you look carefully.

Ralph L said...

I'm certain my idiot step-mother did both face-lift and botox. Her upper face doesn't move, but her lips twitch every few seconds, so there are odd pauses in her speech. For decades she's taken so many pills that she ruined her colon. Two years ago, she lost 50 pounds and her hips, but not her breasts. Now she's on predisone and her face has ballooned over a scrawny body. It's been difficult to look at her for years.

William said...

After a while all that surgery and botox end up making the face look like the kind of fetish face mask that witch doctors wear to impress the tribe and frighten away death... Sex appeal is Darwinian. Status appeal is more from Veblen. These procedures, like couture clothing, are designed more to impress other women than to attract men. The procedures advertise that the woman is wealthy and worthy of pointless pampering....Only women would fall for such a lame, foolish racket. I wonder how far they've gotten in the techniques of penis and prostate transplants. That's something surgeons should be giving their attention to, not this stupid face lift and botox stuff.

amba said...

Yeah, that's what I wondered about Napolitano (as noted here, IIRC).

If all the blab is true and she is gay, though, I'm surprised that she would bother. Women not being as visual as men, some subsets of gay women (though not others) seem not to care so much about looks as either straight women or gay men. Well, the public image, I suppose? The TV cameras? Don't quite get it.

A furrowed brow would be most appropriate on a Homeland Security secretary!! You WANT this person worrying, vigilant . . . not all popeyed and vapid.

amba said...

BTW, Ann, that link now leads to Lindsay Lohan, with no Stevie Nicks in sight.

Zombyboy said...

"I don't see many other reasons for Botox."

I would generally agree, but here is one of the good reasons.

My wife isn't particularly fond of the cosmetic effects of botox--they make her eyelids a little droopy and she can't move her eyebrows--but she has an appointment for treatment every three months.

She gets shots in her forehead, the sides of her head, the back of her head, her neck, and just down to the shoulders. I'm betting the someone out there already knows what I'm talking about: she has botox treatments to help her control migraines. Those treatments, in combination with a few other drugs, are the only thing that we've found that keep her from having upwards of ten to twelve migraines per month. Instead she has perhaps three a month and they aren't nearly as severe.

I hate cosmetic surgery in the service of the overly vain--you don't need to look young to be beautiful, you don't need to have your face stretched to Brazil-esque proportions to feel good about yourself, and not every man or woman needs to conform to some pre-defined physical image to be attractive or happy. But God bless botox and the folks who discovered the way it could help people like my wife.

jr565 said...

William wrote:
I can understand a great beauty like Meg Ryan wanting to extend the magic for a few years.

I wouldn't say she's a great beauty, more so extremely perky and upbeat and wholesome looking. Nothing wrong with that look and not saying she's unattractive at all. She's a real cutie. But not a great beauty.
But at any rate, if she thinks botox helped extend the magic for a few years, then she must not be looking at the same photos that I was,because she looked horrible.IT wasn't just the botox, but the collagen as well. So ugly looking.
Every time an actress appears on screen looking all botoxed out I'm wondering if they are aware how weird they actually look. Nicole Kidman in a few movies carried it off well, but even she is starting to look really bizarre like that woman from a few years ago who had so much facial surgery she looked like a lion (Jocelyn Wildenstein).

JAL said...

The lack of blinking as noted by the Professor the other day is the icing on the blank Botox cake.

The averge person blinks 12 - 15 times a minute.

Napolitano's blink rate was what -- 4 a minute maybe?

From the BOTOX site: Reduced blinking [can result] from BOTOX® Cosmetic injection of the orbicularis muscle....

wv chinglo
An east Asian variation of Botox

SarahW said...

Probably not the first to mention, but Botox toxin used for cosmetic procedures can infiltrate and cause slurred speech. It's not uncommon at all.

Youngblood said...

I always preferred Johnette Napolitano to Janet Napolitano.

Buddy Larsen said...

--growing older would stay without tragedy --where it naturally must be, given the facts of life --if folks would just let it. The fear of age is so common that effort expended to hide the age is effort expend to show the fear.

far better to show the age and hide the fear, as this is what most agree best becomes dignity. fear thus hidden may not even exist, as it will have made no sign --and this apparent obliviousness to vanity then becomes the gracefully aging person's trump card: wisdom!

If you can keep your face while all about you are losing theirs, then eventually they will beg you to lead them. they will elect you to office, from whence you may rob them blind and make and make yourself a fortune, with which you can simply hire actors to be the younger you.

datatroll said...

Just parse out the source of the name to figure out that it's a really bad idea:


Some of these same people drink bottled water and eat organic food for their health???? But shoving a needle loaded with one of the most deadly biological toxins into their muscles is OK!