Women judged more for using Botox than aging naturally, says study

Botox eliminates wrinkles but it can also make you look mean. Photo by Thinkstock
Botox eliminates wrinkles but it can also make you look mean. Photo by Thinkstock

Many women view natural aging as a beautiful thing, while some may opt for Botox and other treatments to smooth out wrinkles. But a new study conducted by the University of Toronto found that women who didn't interfere with nature's course were actually viewed more positively than those who had-especially when the ladies in question divulged their anti-aging techniques.

As the New York Daily News reports, women were divided into two groups for the study: one with an average age of 18, and another with an average age of 70. The ladies all divulged their anti-aging regimen including Botox, Restylane, face lifts, skin creams, and sun exposure, and then were told to judge each other's personality based on appearance.

Unsurprisingly, the older group was less harsh in judging those who had used anti-aging techniques. They most likely empathized more than younger ladies who currently have fewer wrinkles and less sagging to speak of. But all participants in the study had a greater, more pleasant opinion of the ladies who hadn't used Botox and felt they were less vain.

As we've seen with many women in Hollywood, Botox can impair the way you register emotion on your face. Those smile lines and wrinkles around the eye may make a woman look older, yes, but they're also warm and inviting. A furrowed brow may signal confusion or sadness, but if we can't read these cues we may perceive a person to be cold or devoid of feelings.

Researchers from University of Southern California and Duke University recently attempted to prove this scientifically. "People who use Botox are less able to read others' emotions," David Neal, a psychology professor at USC, told USA Today. Neal said the way we understand emotions is through imitating their facial expressions. "If muscular signals from the face to the brain are dampened, you're less able to read emotions."

Societal pressure to get Botox and plastic surgery is constantly increasing, so we're thankful to ladies like Kate Winslet, Rachel Weisz, and Emma Thompson who have formed an Anti-Cosmetic Surgery League. Thompson said, "We're in this awful youth-driven thing now where everybody needs to look 30 at 60," and that's definitely true. With people living longer we understand the need to look youthful for an extended period of time, but as the new study points out, perhaps looking warm and happy is more important.

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