Will Frown Lines Become A Thing Of The Past?



Perhaps it’s my age, or social circle, but it’s increasingly difficult to find women who can knit their brows in a convincing way. You’d expect it from a crowd of beauty editors and influencers, whose livelihoods depend (in part) on looking fresh, but the glabellar lines, or ‘elevens’ – those vertical creases that form between your eyebrows when you glower – are disappearing from faces everywhere. I haven’t succumbed to Botox, yet, but at school drop off, drinks and at the gym, I’m starting to feel like Miss Haversham in a sea of Estellas.

The disappearance of the elevens is due to injectables such as Botox, of course. Australians love cosmetic treatments: we spend more than $1 billion every year on procedures, and Millennials aged 23 to 42 are undergoing cosmetic surgery at a greater rate than any other generation. Botox is by far the most searched cosmetic treatment online and its popularity is obvious from the sheer number of practitioners offering it, from specialists, cosmetic doctors, nurses, beauticians and more. And when people are dipping their toes into tweakments, the elevens are often where they start.

“The glabellar area between the brows is probably the area people dabble with first. The reason patients start with that area is its association with being angry or in a bad mood.”

– Ramin Shayan, Melbourne plastic surgeon

Women undoubtedly have a lot to be angry about, but that doesn’t mean we want to look it. Few of us want a ‘resting bitch face’, as it’s so charmingly described (there doesn’t seem to be a male equivalent). But the ubiquity of Botox does raise an interesting question: as increasing numbers of us erase the elevens from our faces, will noticeably grumpy women cease to exist?

To answer that, Melbourne dermatologist Dr Katherine Armour offers a quick explanation of how Botox works. “The muscle between the eyebrows is called the procerus and while it’s a big, strong muscle it’s only partially responsible for a frown,” she says. “The corrugator supercilia muscles run just above our eyebrows, basically, and they also play a role in frowning. So you have to inject them at the same time, in order to keep the face harmonious.”

“When I’m looking at a patient, I’m looking at them in 10 years’ time. I want to set them up for looking great, so prevention is really important for us.”

– Dr Naomi McCullum, founder of Sydney’s The Manse clinic

Meet The Women Making Thousands From Their Wardrobes



Read Felicity’s piece on why the elevens are often where people start when dipping their toes into tweakments—and whether resting bitch face is a thing of the past.


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