AAbout 15 years ago, an Australian woman I worked with took me aside and told me I should get Botox. I was busy building a career as a TV presenter and she was convinced that if I wasn’t careful something would hold me back. “It’s that frown line in the middle of your forehead. It’s a little distracting,” she said. “It will only get worse,” she added. His tone was neither nice nor mean. No particular offense was taken.
She was right about one thing: the situation has gotten worse. I was barely in my forties then. Since then, the line has deepened, first into a crevasse, then into a canyon. Around the time of my fiftieth birthday, the peaks of the canyon’s sides closed in, turning it into a sort of tunnel, I guess you should call it that. No daylight enters unless I physically pull my forehead back. Or I am very surprised by something. These days – I’m 57 next month – it’s so deep that to clean it properly I have to use a small toothbrush. You’d be amazed at what’s going on in there.
I read with interest this week a study from Humboldt University in Berlin suggesting that people with wrinkles are considered less agreeable and less trustworthy than people with smoother skin. How superficial. Disappointing. I wonder what they would think of my frown tunnel.
Someone close to me tells me that I look a lot like that turbulent Ukrainian general Valerii Zaluzhnyi, because of our round Slav heads and, yes, the crevices in our foreheads. Again, none were caught. I compared my frown line with his and I think mine looks prettier. There’s something strange about him: instead of one long one, like me, he has two shorter efforts, which seem meant to meet but somehow get lost. And they are off-center. Mine, while much more distracting, at least has some symmetry.
I have always avoided Botox, but if Zaluzhnyi wants to go for it, I will too.