As developers of face aging software, what does Botox mean to us?
At AprilAge, we spend a lot of time thinking about, and working on software that "ages faces". We do this to further develop and enhance a tool that is used in health education around the world, not only to show people what they look like as they age naturally, but also showing the effects of smoking, weight gain, and heavy sun exposure. Health educators use the APRIL software in smoking cessation programs, and healthy lifestyle counselling. Insurance companies use the software to encourage people to save for retirement, by showing people an "older" version of themselves in order to "relate" to their coming senior years. So, when an article like this : "Hollywood and Botox: Is the face being erased in our culture?" appears in a major daily newspaper, it gives us pause for thought on the flip side of the aging process - what are people doing when they try to erase the visibile effects of aging? How much "work" is too much? Does it really make a difference in the end?
The fear of "looking old" is widespread - in fact, we are often asked if we have "the reverse process" available - that is, can we make people look younger, and get rid of the visible signs of aging. This request comes from most everyone we talk to, underlying the widespread recognition, and norm, to seek a "younger-looking you."
We've learned a lot about the emotional side of aging through seeing thousands of people's reaction to seeing themselves get old right before their eyes. Some people turn away, and don't want to look, while others think 'it's cool", while even others feel compelled to change negative lifestyle behaviours. Whatever the reaction, it is never mild - and the power of seeing "an older you" can be motivating in the realm of health care education. We think aging faces are beautiful, but we also understand why people want to erase their wrinkles, because they may not think their aging face is so beautiful any more. We don't think that "the face is being erased in our culture" - sometimes it just gets a little sidetracked on its way to eventual old age.