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Women in Eugene area not happy about getting old

Heather Locklear in 1993, while she turns “50” on Sept. 25.
Heather Locklear in 1993, while she turns “50” on Sept. 25.
Photo courtesy Wikipedia

EUGENE, Ore. -- It's not rocket science that women over 50 in the Eugene area are not happy campers when it comes to aging, and all that's involved with the being old in a youth culture.

Look at the billboards around Eugene, and it's all about young people doing this or that. "It's clear," says Eugene "Baby Boomer" Pat that we ladies over the age of 50 are no longer part of the "it" crowd.

In fact, Pat and other Eugene women over 50 are now speaking out about the hassle of trying to "deal" with aging, including the topic of "getting face work done" in a time when "everybody still knows your old as ol' boots."

Women over 50 not fabulous about getting older and getting work done

Margaret is reading about actor George Clooney getting married in a recent TV spot for a top bank in Norway while exclaiming “the girl George is marrying looks more like his daughter;” meanwhile Margaret notes that both she and Clooney turned 50 this year, but in today’s youth culture “50 is not so fabulous for women.”

Margaret is playing cards with other 50-something women at nearby Seal Rock (along the central Oregon coast) where 68-year-old actor David Ogden Stiers – who played Major Charles Winchester in the M*A*S*H TV series – lives along with other “Baby Boomers” who freely admit that they wish they were young.

“It’s just rubbish that 50 are the new 40 or 60 the new 50 or even 40, like those ads proclaim,” she explains. “It’s also rubbish when they say such and such just turned the big 5-0 and ‘she’s found a way to stop time,’ or ‘they’ve discovered at 50 that the best is yet to come.’ They say those things when they want to sell you stuff, and they know women over 50 are afraid to admit they getting old,” adds Margaret while her eyes squinted with amusement over this topic of aging for women that her friends are talking about.

“There’s no secret to stop time,” adds Margaret, “and the only way some of us can try and top aging is to get work done.”

Women in lower income brackets fearing aging prejudice seek cheap Botox

Paula, a Eugene cocktail waitress whose already “getting age remarks” at 44, admits to getting Botox injections at a local strip mall because she can’t afford typical treatments that run $500 - $1,300; thus, she’s “laying out $150-$200” instead because she insists that Botox is becoming a trend for lower income earners, such as waitresses, who “depend on their looks for tips and to keep my job,” says Paula with a deep sense of chagrin about cut-rate Botox injections that have made her look “mask-ish.”

Paula and other lower income female workers who – in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s – say they can’t compete with the “air-brushed” image that’s presented today in a youth culture. They insist that Botox is more than just a trend for the rich because “you’re at a disadvantage if you don’t get the shots.”

Paula admitted “to being hurt when a customer comments about how I look; that I’m old. It really gets to you.” Paula’s friend Bonnie – a fellow waitress that gets financial help from her husband -- is now being treated at the “Aesthetic Surgical Arts and Skin Enhancement Center” in Eugene where she note, “it’s spendie, but you don’t have to worry about getting an infection or looking funny afterwards.”

Botox health risks outweigh the so-called benefits of looking somewhat younger

The actress Dana Delany frequently discusses her “Botox Horror Story” on the talk show circuit, states a recent story about Botox health dangers in HealthRelatedInfos.com. The story notes that “Dana Delany has sworn that she will never have cosmetic surgery again after a botched Botox procedure messed up her left eye.

The 54-year-old star said that seven years ago she had never even heard of Botox, but decided to go ahead with it at the urging of her dermatologist. When he went to make the injection, he hit a nerve and created a huge hematoma. The nerve has been dead in her face since that time.

“The botched procedure affected a muscle in her right eye, so her eye has started to droop since that time, making her face less symmetrical. She said that after the incident she never went back to the same dermatologist and swore off cosmetic surgery from that time on.”

Because Botox can reduce or eliminate frown lines, crow's-feet and forehead lines quickly and without surgery, Eugene’s “Aesthetic Surgical Arts and Skin Enhancement Center” is marketing it as “the nation's most popular cosmetic procedure.”

Botox approved by FDA, but that doesn’t mean much say experts in Eugene

While Botox has been approved by the FDA to “temporarily improve the appearance of moderate to severe facial wrinkles,” experts say it’s been abused at the lower income level where cocktail waitresses such as Paula are going to nondescript strip mall “skin-care” joints to get cheap Botox shots.

Paula says there are several places in the Eugene area that advertise the “lowest prices anywhere for Botox,” with some having a “doctor on standby.”

For example, Paula gets her Botox shots from a “nurse” who works in a local shopping mall with shots only coasting about $12 “per unit,” or $150 “per area” with Paula saying it takes 15 to 20 units to get her “face looking young again.”

While she would rather see a dermatologist or plastic surgeon, and have them administer the Botox shots at a proper medical office, she notes “my insurance doesn’t cover it,” and she “can’t afford to go where those better off go.”

Botox has moved out of Hollywood and gone mainstream on West coast

Botox centers are popping up all over the country, with a focus on the West coast, say locals who frequent the best “Botox deals in town.”

Also, the Botox procedures are hurting women emotionally as well as physically due to botched procedures that are marketed as safe and inexpensive, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“According to a new study by researchers from the University of southern California (USC) and Duke University, and published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, women who received Botox were less able to read expressions on other people's faces, the Los Angeles Times reported. “Study authors conducted the experiments to test mounting evidence that suggests humans mimic others' facial expressions to help us register emotional states such as fear, worry or happiness. People who have used Botox cannot always reproduce these expressions because parts of their faces are immobilized.”

USC psychology professor David T. Neal explained to the Los Angeles Times that the work suggests “the connection between mind and body works in both directions. Although most work focuses on the mind's power over the body, Neal pointed out this research suggests the body provides feedback that helps us navigate the social world.”

In addition, local waitresses here in Eugene defend their regular Botox injections “because I may not be able to afford going to a doctor to get the shots, but I will get them somehow,” citing their view that Botox keeps them relevant in a youth culture that promotes a woman’s outside looks over who she really is inside.

Women worried about not making anti-aging investments

According to a recent discussion in “WomensNews,” the rise of Botox, liposuction and face lifts mirrors today’s society where “middle-aged women” are worried about not making anti-aging investments that “they think will keep them looking young, and competitive.”

People really do assume that liposuction, Botox, chemical peels, facelifts--whatever--work to make people look younger,” states the WomensNews report. “I suspect more midlife people are turning to anti-aging products for financial reasons. They want to look younger not to feel like an ad, but to pass as younger in the marketplaces of life. Middle ageism--now afflicting people as young as 40--has made ‘looking your age’ less valuable.”

Moreover, it states that “the typical household headed by a 47-to-64-year-old is at risk in an insecure U.S. job market. Women--who spend more on "anti-aging" products--are under particular pressures. Age discrimination complaints by women to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against discrimination have been rising and so has Botox injections.”

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