“WHY would anyone, most of all young Charice, want her face redone?” asked a teener grandchild, horrified by Botox injections. I hushed her and said it’s not really a medical operation as we know operation. I sounded like “beautician” Vicki Belo.

Botox is a process of sorts, a cosmetic process said to have been named after the toxin from where the process got its early identification, botulinum.

Besides, the world was always this way—-having “beauty ideals” from era to era, like in the time of Cleopatra, queen of Egypt, who was said to be beautiful in her time in year 51 BC. But as seen in images unearthed, our beauty ideals aren’t the same as in Egypt in Cleopatra’s time, with “pointed chin, thin lips and sharp nose” as seen in archeological digs.

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So, I suppose the women tried their best to re-do their faces, even their sizes. There was a time when ancient Egyptians found it attractive to shave their heads and wear wigs. Then from the Middle Ages to the Crusades, attractive women got rid of their hair from their necks, temples, eyelashes and eyebrows, which was a painful process.

We know of beauty products named after Cleopatra, I guess also after Nefertiti, an earlier Egyptian queen whose name means “the beautiful one is come.”

In our time, a news item says singer Charice Pempengco is “getting Botox”, so I imagined Botox to be a process. Then from this noun form, in the same story, Botox becomes a verb when Dr. Belo of the Belo Medical Group said in an interview that she would get rid of a muscle in Charice’s face which is protruding. Belo said, “We are going to Botox that in order to get it flat so she’ll have a cuter face.” Botox can even remove “frown lines!”

Charice said her decision for a Botox treatment is in preparation for her part in the hit Fox TV show “Glee,” so she would “look fresh on camera.” In reaction, her publicist says the process was “absolutely not cosmetic;” instead it was for a treatment of muscle pain in her jaw. But Charice fans know that it was a cosmetic process, not medical, and they’re screaming foul in blogs and in parties.

A preparation of the toxin was first used to treat muscle spasm, found to be a cure for neuromuscular problems. But it was also later discovered to have cosmetic uses. The process causes hardly any pain for the patient. You could even have a camera in front of you, with background music, too, in the Belo magic chair….

But Charice is too young for a Botox injection, a mother explained. Cleopatra was 18 when, together with her brother, she ascended to the throne and probably did some re-styling of her body as a queen. Did she need it?

The head of an organization of surgeons in New York believes Charice is too young for a Botox treatment, saying, “It may be of some benefit for the camera but I would be reluctant to consider Botox for a normal 18-year-old.”

It’s all right with others, it’s a quickie of a treatment, non-surgical (using only radio frequency technology). And so, why not? I guess Belo, the body re-stylist, just got a good promo line world-Pinoy-wide by giving the cosmetic treat for free to the young international singer.

There are side effects, of course, such as nausea, or you could stand it. It’s said to be a “non-envasive” procedure in search of youthfulness so that it has grown to be popular in the US—in 2003, some 2.6 million women and 333,000 men succumbed to its charm.

The singing Botox patient, now 18, was only 15 when she was discovered as a talent and asked to sing in NBC’s “The Ellen De Generes Show” and ABC’s “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” But she is too young, just too young, exclaimed mothers of 18-year-olds.

I guess when you become international in fame, you’ve gone a long way in many aspects—not anymore that young.

(ecuizon@gmail.com)