Thursday, January 08, 2009

A Wrinkle in Time

This is a hard time. Unemployment is rising faster than anyone anticipated and I will be shocked if it does not reach 10% before the coming Obama job program gets it back to 7 or 8 %. Everywhere, the consumer is cutting back. Retail stores which have survived for generations teeter toward bankruptcy. The American auto Industry is hanging on by a thread. It is hard to find anything in the market place which is showing signs of growth. That is why it is so odd that sales of Botox went up 13% last quarter.


It used to be axiomatic that the last thing that Americans gave up in a recession was liquor. Apparently that is no longer true. The last thing that Americans are now willing to give up is the Botulinum toxin, the most toxic protein known which, when used in minute quantities, can remove wrinkles from the face. Most of us call this “Botox treatments” but Botox is actually a brand name. like Kleenex or Xerox.


Now I don’t know why the use of Botox and its brother toxins is skyrocketing during these dark times. I suspect that it is the same reason we pay undertakers to make dead bodies look good for a funeral. Everyone wants to go out in style. If you are headed for the poor house, at least you can look good when you get there. On the other hand, I don’t follow Botox treatment costs. It may be that the costs have come down so much that Botox is not just for the well to do anymore, but is being used by the middle class, the same phenomena you saw in cell phones and flat screen televisions. Whatever the reason, the Puritan strain, which runs deeply in the blood of most Americans will recoil at the continued success of a product which is used for vanity purposes, during this time of crisis.


The skin of every human  deteriorates. The dermis thins with age and fat cells beneath the skin atrophies. The underlying network of elastin unravels and the skin loses its elasticity. This is what is commonly known as “starting to look old”, or “looking old” or “at deaths door” depending on the progress of the deterioration. A legitimate question for each human being is “why fight it ?” Why indeed ? To be honest, I don’t much care what people spend their money on, as long as it does not destroy the family’s well being. I object to children’s milk money being spent on lotto tickets and cigarettes, but other than that type of abuse, I take the position of judging not lest I be judged. But from a personal point of view, I have never understood the use of Botox, anymore than I understand those face stretching face lifts that make some people look  like marionettes without the strings. I don’t like looking older. I don’t want to die either, but there are some things that we all must go through. It certainly never crossed my mind that I would try to prevent aging by shooting poison into my face.


Maybe this will all work out all right. If you have to interview for a job after you get laid off, you want to look your best. On the other hand, you don’t want to meet the human resources chief with bruises on your cheek and a drooping eye. That’s really not front office appearance. In the end, people are going to spend their money in the manner that they want to spend it, in the manner that they think is in their rational self interest. Who is to say that a retarding wrinkles is not the highest and best use of medical science ? You could pooh pooh Viagra and Minoxidal during a recession and people are going to still use it. So you will hear no criticism from me.


I see these locks in silvery slips,

This Drooping gait, this altered size.

But springtime blossoms on thy lips:

And tears take sunshine from thine eyes.  Samuel Coleridge, “Youth and Age”


Blogger Jannie said...

Umm, going down in price perhaps, you say? I'll have to check into that.

7:40 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home