The Ageing Myth: Pressure To Look Younger In The Workplace Led Me To Have Botox

And with a recognition that skincare alone was not going to give me the result I wanted, I headed to the derm’s office to discuss injectables. The conversation led to a session with 20 + needles of both Botox to smooth fine lines and Profhilo to plump the skin and restore a  juicy glow. It worked. I got compliments from colleagues and requests for my derm’s number from friends. And yes it did give me a spring in my step, a boost of confidence, but also a dawning realisation. I had whole heartedly succumbed to society’s unrealistic expectations of ageing, 

I had always imagined I would ‘age gracefully’, but what I realise as I get older is that it’s a beauty myth. Natural ageing comes with life learnings, plenty of grey hairs and gravity impacts you cannot deny, but it’s also firmly out of sync with our societal beauty standards. And while there’s a push to widen the boundaries of what mainstream society considers beautiful, which I wholeheartedly support, I’d argue that’s happening more extensively at the youthful end of the spectrum and actual ageing is still largely a taboo. Not helped by the lack of transparency in some corners of celebville, where it’s clear that if you want your 50’s to look like J’Lo or Naomi it takes time, work, cash investment and a full glam squad.  

The Naomi debate got me back to thinking about the workplace pressure I felt to look good, and I couldn’t help but wonder if Naomi ever felt a similar pressure, or perhaps tons more pressure thanks to the nature of her job? Sure she’s an original super with unrivalled experience, but she’s also walking the catwalks next to a generation half her age, the Bella and Kendall and Precious’s  of the world.

I also wonder after many decades of her image being tweaked and perfected routinely as part of her job, if that’s normalised an alternative image for her? Maybe it’s like cosmetic procedures? The more you do, the less you see the change that may seem obvious to others. 

I guess I’ll never know on this score, but I do know that as I get older I realise ageing is a privilege.  I love the confidence my years of experience give me and I wouldn’t trade this for smoother skin. It’s taken me a little longer to get on board with the realisation that even though I more often than not feel 22, I’m not going to look it! 

Naomi has been quoted as saying, “I’ve had my success, and I want to see the success of the next generation.” And while it’s her appearance, her image and her choice, I’d also urge her not to set up the next gen ( or older generations for that matter ) for failure with physically impossible to achieve, altered beauty standards. I’d argue aiming for flawlessness is counterproductive, it just feeds the insecurities. And from where I am looking Naomi doesn’t appear to have many flaws, but I would for one welcome her and others in positions of power in the industry actively speaking out in support of real ageing.

Naomi hasn’t yet commented on the photos. GLAMOUR has contacted a spokesperson for Naomi Campbell and is awaiting comment.