Botox and the Indian Community
Botox, everyone has thought about it, many of us are doing it, so why aren’t we talking about it?
Growing up as first generation Indian Americans, my sister and I had the impossible task of representing our Indian side, our American side, and our hybrid side with grace and full understanding. This meant being respectful yet assertive and exploring our interests while not wandering too far outside of our parents understanding. It also meant looking and acting within certain cultural norms without compromising our opportunities here as Americans.
Aging is one of those unusual paradoxes where being Indian and American does not agree. It appears that Americans embrace doing things make you feel good — from facials to chemical peels to plastic surgery to Botox. There is discussion and a sharing of experiences that is a part of the American culture. I can’t speak to other communities and cultures but the Indian community from both the immigrant and first generation perspectives does not embrace artificial enhancement. Indo-American women will undergo a variety of procedures and services behind closed doors and lie about their genetics and diets to no end. An acceptance of anti-aging tools that we have available to us as Indians in America has been a difficult pill to swallow for many.
I am 36 years old, I have been getting Botox for 3 years. When I looked in the mirror after having two kids and moving homes twice, my body directly experienced the stress. My body had undergone both of those life-changing events and left me with deep wrinkles which made me feel older than I was. My friends, co-workers, and sisters were supportive when I first considered Botox (see our article here about facing judgement). We talked about it, read about it, researched it until I eventually went for it. Some family members, on the other hand, discouraged me from doing it and hesitantly added that if I did get it, I should keep it to myself. After seeing my results and my satisfaction, two short years later, they too went ahead and tried it out. But they have since kept their “genetic” advantages to themselves.
Without getting too carried away, I am grateful that I can take little steps to look the way I feel. I am not in denial of aging or of my life circumstances; this is a personal choice and one that has left me satisfied. By not sharing ideas and privatizing our desires, we cannot lift each other up in a way that can be positive in the right context.
I hope to get the discussion started. We are fortunate that one of our Savvy Chicks’, Avani, has a husband who is a plastic surgeon — if you have any questions please leave them in comments below and we will be happy to get you an expert’s perspective.