Filipino pop star Charice, who is 18 but could easily pass for 15, recently got Botox. Unsurprisingly, this has caused some controversy.
According to the AP, Charice was injected with the wrinkle-reducing toxin “to look fresh on camera” in preparation for her upcoming debut as Rachel Berry’s rival on Glee. Celebrity plastic surgeon Vicki Belo, who injected Charice on camera, told ABS-CBN television that the teen pop tart got Botox as well as a 30-minute Thermage skin-tightening procedure to make her “naturally round face” more narrow. Charice herself told ABS-CBN that the procedures were part of her prep before filming the hit Fox TV show.
Charice’s rep denies that the procedure was for cosmetic reasons and told UsMagazine.com that the Botox was to “to relieve a jaw problem similar to TMJ.”
This is a legitimate reason for using Botox.
“Botox is used to treat TMJ which sounds like what is being described–that is a medical use, not a cosmetic use of Botox and may be appropriate in younger age groups,” says Heidi A. Waldorf, M.D., Director of Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in NYC.
But, Waldorf adds, “Botox is also injected into the muscles of the jaw, the chewing muscles, to give the face a slimmer appearance and make the jaw less square. This is particularly popular in Asia. I would consider 18 years old to be too young for that cosmetic indication.”
Botox is widely used in Hollywood–mostly by the (we hope) 40+ set. Charice does not look like she needs Botox. At all. So can you ever be too young for Botox?
I happen to know a little about this. At my last job, when I was 26, I went undercover on Botox consultations to see if docs would recommend the injectible. Three out of the four doctors I visited, including Dr. Waldorf, said that I could use Botox. So did many kind commenters who read the story. I consoled myself by figuring that most docs would, of course, push the product because it’s an easy money maker for them. But after going on four consultations, I became acutely aware of my “eleven” lines, or what I like to call my perma-furrow (so I worry too much–who doesn’t?). In a few years (ok, more like ten or twenty), I might not be opposed. (It would also be awesome if I could afford Botox within the next ten years.)
On one of my undercover consults, one doc told me, “If the wrinkles are there, then they’re there. The youngest patient I’ve seen was 22 years old, and she needed it.”
So would you get Botox?