To Botox or Not

She began using Botox to appear younger on camera but its effect on her speech made her reconsider that decision. 

by jan brehm • Member { View Profile }
Photograph: iStock


As I was sitting among a group of women the other day, we chatted about relevant topics such as our current education system, social (in)security, changes in our insurance policies, the going’s on of our grown kids, and Botox. The subject of Botox somehow always seems to slip into conversations that include women both here and abroad. I highly doubt men talk of this subject, as those who indulge are most likely “closet injectors.”

So, discussions ensued as to the benefits of using Botox to smooth out those ever increasing epidermoid flaps and folds. Although I am a bit tentative to broach my personal experience with this said topic, I would be remiss not to share my Botox malady.

I have worked on-camera as a spokesperson and actress for several years and the advent of Botox was for me an opportunity to spend several more years as a liar (regarding my age of course). I injected a little here, a little there, playing blissfully with this new miracle of botulism like I was 6 years old again and playing with my new Chatty Kathy at Christmas. I learned you could inject the Botox just above your upper lip, giving it a more plump appearance. So to gain a more youthful pillowy mouth, I injected away.

“Hoy Matey, thar she blows,” I expressed with wild abandon as within seven to 10 days my upper lip did indeed swell to a more youthful and zestful appearance. The only drawback that I had not anticipated was that the muscles in the top of the mouth would be frozen, and as I stood facing the camera and ready to shoot a commercial, I was horrified when I could not form the letters “m,” “b,” or “p.” My first line was, “Hi, Jan Brehm here with Mason Motors [name changed] celebrating this magical time of year.” What I was able to dribble out was, “Hi, Jan reh here with ason otors, celerating this agical ti of year.”  The director at first thought I was joking, but his “ha ha” quickly dissipated into raw frustration as camera take after camera take, I struggled to make my lips meet. I did finagle a way to move my lower lip up to meet the upper one, an accomplishment of which I was most pleased but unfortunately gave me the a jaw-jutting, distorted facial expression.

Well, you think I would have learned, but a few weeks ago in preparing to shoot another commercial for a new dealership, I thought there would be no harm in Botoxing the bottom lip …  again in attempts to regain a youthful lip-luster. I was fully aware that my bottom lip might be a bit paralyzed but found only the letters “f” and “v” might be a bit strained. To my horror, as I had not anticipated what the script might possibly say, I found my last line to be: “Come visit us. We’re just off the I 5 freeway in Fife.” And of course what my facial orifice formed was: “Come isit us. We’re just o the I I eeway in i.”

I’m gonna cool it on the Botoxing for a while.

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