New experiences open up a world of possibilities. An introductory beauty adventure? Especially so. As children, it helps develop our taste. But as adults, changing an aspect of our physical selves often symbolizes something bigger about the women we are...and are on our way to becoming. In our January/February 2018 issue, we asked six writers to explain how these moments transformed them in ways that go far beyond lipstick tubes and hair dyes. Here's one woman's story:
A few years ago I had lunch with a friend who was dating a cosmetic dermatologist in Los Angeles. I'd never seen her look so good, so glowing, so smooth. "Did you get a new night cream?" I asked. When she laughed, her mouth was the only thing on her face to move, in the manner of morning television hosts. "You need to see Ken," she insisted. Ken (let's just call him that), the boyfriend, was the guy to see for fillers if you were a Beverly Hills reality television star or recent divorcee. Fillers, I soon learned from Google, are injections of a solution that help plump up areas of the skin that could use a little volume, like deep wrinkles, folds, or flat cheekbones. I was nervous but sure of my decision. I'll try anything once, especially if it promises to make me look like I'm wearing an instagram filter on my face.
With just six pricks in strategic places, my frown lines immediately disappeared, my eyes looked wider, and my cheekbones seemed cut from glass. I felt the way I often do after eating just one miniature reese's Peanut Butter Cup: I craved more. But Ken told me to let the fillers settle.
To my surprise and delight, I looked even better the next day. Infused with wild self-confidence, I offered to buy Jon Hamm a drink later that night at Sunset Tower. When he turned me down, I bought myself a bourbon and gazed lovingly at my reflection in the window. (Dance your way fit with High-Intensity Dance Cardio, the first-ever socanomics DVD!)
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My love affair with fillers lasted a few months before my cheeks deflated and the grooves beneath my eyes began to resurface. The next time I went to Ken, he'd broken up with my friend for a celebrity Pilates instructor, and he gave me a bill for his standard fee. A single session would have cost me more than my monthly rent. Thanks, but no thanks. I went cold turkey. Still, I look back on the time fondly. For a blessed three months, I got to play a new version of myself. But as the lines resurfaced, I felt, in a way, like I was coming home.
This article originally appeared in the January/February 2018 issue of Women's Health. For more great advice, pick up a copy of the issue on newsstands now!