Are you a middle-aged man with some middle-of-the-road corporate power? Are you also a mostly happy guy who often feels misrepresented by your own jerk(ish) face during presentations in the conference room? Well, now you can completely change the fact that the skin between your eyes always looks grumpy: Simply get your scowl injected with a little botox.
As we discussed a few weeks back, botox isn’t just a way for women to freeze their faces into a nightmare rictus. It’s both generally pretty safe, and very much for men. Per my conversation with Dara Liotta, a plastic surgeon on the Upper East Side, it works like this: Men who want to soften their “11” lines — that is, the pair of vertical lines between the eyebrows that appear when you make a mad face — get botox injected into the area in order to smooth out the wrinkles.
“The muscles that make the ‘11 lines’ are called the corrugators,” says Liotta. “People tend to contract these muscles, leading to 11 lines, when they concentrate, squint or are stressed or concerned. Repeated contraction leads to etched-in lines that make people look mad or concerned when they are not. It’s common for men to come to me to botox this area because they’ve been asked if they’re stressed constantly, or they’ve received feedback at work that they’re difficult to talk to, or seem angry.”
This can be a real problem, too, since as this Zwivel article notes, “angry resting face” is a real thing:
“Two researchers from Noldus Information Technology conducted a study into the social aspects of the matter. Using high-tech face-reader software, behavioral researchers Jason Rogers and Abbe Macbeth discovered that even the most minute facial cues can contribute to the appearance of a person being angry or upset. In other words, our faces convey emotions in very subtle ways — and those cues are often beyond our control.”
Fortunately, losing your ARF is fairly straightforward, although not exactly cheap. Liotta explains that it usually takes about 25 units of botox to smooth the lines, “So it’s around $500, which is on the higher end [of botox pricing].” And sadly, it’s not a one-time deal, with the effects lasting anywhere from six months to a year. “When the Botox wears off and the muscle contracts normally again, the lines could return unless the muscle is treated again,” according to MainLaserSkincare.com. “Without the scowl lines, you will inevitably look more relaxed, less tired and definitely less angry.”
While, as you’d expect, the majority of men undergoing the procedure are from white-collar jobs, the range of workers is pretty broad. “Some common professions to come seeking 11 line correction with botox include photographers, lawyers, doctors, editors, programmers and men who work in finance,” says Liotta. “They tend to be between about 30 and 50. Some come alone; some come with a partner.”
Liotta believes that as social media makes information about Botox more accessible, and as the procedure becomes more commonplace and more “acceptable” to men, the number of men coming into the office for botox will only continue to climb. As such, employees everywhere will begin to fall prey to a new workplace horror: The wrinkle-free face that says, “Good job!” when it really means, “Get the hell out of my office!”