Saturday, December 19, 2009

the last lash

Last night, at a party, I spent some time chatting with an aesthitist. First of all, I'm not sure that's even a word. I've tried, in a variety of places, to find the proper spelling and have been repeatedly stumped. So, I'm going with this. Anyway, he's a doctor who does botox and other cosmetic surgery procedures. We were talking about WRINKLE (my new book about aging), about how far people will go to not look older, about how much they'll lie to keep it a secret, about how ridiculous the products can be that people buy, in order to stave off the inevitable.

I thought, after all the research I'd done for FLOW, that I'd heard the ultimate in ridiculous. It's hard to top selling a bathroom disinfectant as a douche. And with the writing I've been doing about medicalization lately, I'd thought one could not possibly top drugs for restless leg syndrome.

That is, until I heard about Latisse. I must interject that I seem to have a mental block against that name. Even though I've written it down several time and googled it even more, my brain refuses to remember it. Perhaps, it's because of the inanity, insanity of the product. But, back to the drug at hand. Latisse is prescribed for hypotrichosis. And that is? "Eyelash hypotrichosis is another name for having inadequate or not enough eyelashes," according to the manufacturer's website. Actually, hypotrichosis is having less than normal amounts of hair on the face or body. I suppose, since the product promotes longer, thicker, darker lash growth, I understand why they skewed the definition in that narrow direction.

The aesthitist explained when people took a glaucoma drug, they noticed their eyelashes appearance improving when on the meds. So, some intrepid souls decided to repackage the drug specifically for that, as an eyelash enhancer. Take a moment and think about this: eyelash enhancer? That's what I always thought mascara was for. You don't need a prescription, there aren't major potential side effects, and it's far more cost effective than Latisse. Are there really people out there who have been so emotionally damaged by a lack of lashes, they're willing to go to this extreme? Here's another question: will Latisse be covered under the new health care plan?

I mean, come on folks. Who's buying into this nonsense? Or is it the same slippery slope I've been thinking about (and feeling myself on) lately? Where hair color is a first step. And if that's ok, then how bad can botox or expensive lotions, or tummy tucks be? Perhaps years and years of eyelash curling and mascara have done their damage, and people, as in women, want to have more of something to bat, to flirt with. As we get older and lose so much, is it so terrible to want eyelashes to be dark and dense?

I don't have an answer. And sometimes, I'm starting to think I don't have an opinion. Things look different from 45 and a half than they did 10 years ago. Products, procedures I swore I'd never consider, suddenly aren't quite so abhorrent. Having said that, I can't imagine paying through the nose, and using prescription drug to enhance my lashes. Then again, maybe, I shouldn't be so quick to judge those who feel like it'll make a difference.

1 comment:

Kristy Kiernan said...

What freaks me out about it is that it can cause dark spots--irreversible dark spots--in the eye. You'd risk that rather than use mascara? I, too, feel a little differently about some products now than I did a few years ago, but I don't think I'm changing my mind on this one.