Hollywood backlash:





 Grumpy Tim Allen tries a holiday makeover.

 White teeth, blue eyes, sunless tanner, and Botox.

 Way too much Botox.

Botox, the protein otherwise known as botulinum toxin, has been the hot cosmetic treatment for a long enough time that we're not surprised by a recent mild movie backlash. Now used by people ranging from globe-hopping slightly wrinkled celebrities to the average frowning Joe, much of the mystique of this medical muscle-relaxing material has melted away, just as its beneficial effect eventually does. So in 'Christmas with the Kranks,' Tim Allen's makeover includes not just tangerine tinted sunless tanner, effervescent tooth whitening, and sky-blue contact lenses, but a splash of vitamin Botox as well. Usually this is wrinkle reducing intervention is used conservatively to treat to the upper third of the face, softening the brow, forehead, and outer eye lines. Overuse can cause a Klingon-like tilting of the eyebrows. Unfortunately, Allen's movie dermatologist must have sipped a little too much egg nog. Tim's Kranky character somehow received Botox around his mouth. Relaxation of these muscles means serious problems retaining food and water. In general, we find drooling spoils the glamour.

 Jokes about Botox also occurred in fairy tale films. In "Ella Enchanted," Ella's evil Step mom wants to be enhanced by a combo injection of ox blood and bat wings, known as "Batox." Clearly, side effects can occur.



 Hillary Duff's stepmother is angry, though it's hard to tell. She's been overtaxed and over-Toxed.

It amuses us that Hollywood is poking fun of at those poked by Botox needles. Considering that a major Botox pipeline carries gallons of the protein directly to Beverly Hills' Rodeo Drive, we are reminded of a certain name-calling black kettle. While Botox is safe, with only bruising and the occasional headache as potential side effects, actors may experience a further complication. While relaxing facial muscles can reduce fine wrinkling, if overdone, a frozen appearance can result. In "A Cinderella Story," Hillary Duff's evil Step mom (sound familiar?) is a cosmetic treatment junkie. She can't appear angry because she's been "over-Botoxed." The conservative use of Botox allows some facial movement and continued facial expression, instead of an emotionless blank slate. You can't win an Oscar statue is you can't perform an Oscar moment.


Runner up, Hollywood backlash:

Are wrinkle creams the new fountain of youth? Or do they cause disfiguring facial destruction and turn us into zombies? You decide.



© 1996-2008 Vail Reese M.D.

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