My name is Kitty, and when I was 27, I had Botox for the first time. I've had it every 3 months since. I've been getting piercings other than my ears since I was around 17, and got my first tattoo at 26. Lately I've been seeing a lot of hate from the body modification community towards those who have plastic surgery and less invasive kinds of fillers and Botox and the like and it's not cool.
Before Botox, this was my life. Hospital visits and a whole lot more medication than I'm sharing in that photo. I suffer from hemiplegic migraines and a form of chronic headaches. This means I am in pain 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Or at least, I was. Thanks to Botox I've been able to avoid hospital visits and ambulances for a little while now and it's incredible.
I took this selfie the first time I ended up on a stroke unit. Hemiplegic migraines essentially mimic strokes without the brain damage. Slurred speech, one sided numbness, confusion, aphasia, drooping face, all the fun stuff. It is absolutely terrifying.
I've tried dozens of different medications and treatments, and nothing worked until Botox. I have it every 3 months and it totally changed my life. I have 36 injections in my forehead, scalp and neck and let me tell you, Botox bloody hurts like hell. I cry every time. I've been tattooed for 6 hours in one sitting and there is just no comparison in the pain. I can't move my eyebrows anymore, and the slight wrinkle I had coming in my forehead has vanished.
And since I had Botox I realised something. There is a running theme within the tattoo/modified community of a prejudice towards those who have pursued a different type of body modification. I'm talking lip fillers, Botox, fake boobs, nose jobs and more. The tattoo community seems to consider it's type of body modification superior to these other types of modification because they are more associated with vanity than tattoos are. Because Botox hides aging, or fillers increase your pout, people believe their artwork covered bodies are different or better. I see so much hate from people who claim to be open minded towards those who have these other kinds of modification.
The body positive community is all about embracing who you are, and loving yourself, but that isn't always possible for some people. I felt like my body hated me before Botox, and now I can love it because it doesn't feel like it is rebelling against me. People get fake boobs because they've always been self conscious about their breasts, or because they are having reconstruction after breast cancer, or because they just love the look of huge fake boobs! You might love the exaggerated look of lip fillers, or have always wanted a split tongue, or a full back piece, it's body modification in a different form. And one isn't better than the other.
Tattoos aren't better than Botox, your nose piercing isn't cooler than a nose job. The body modification community has always claimed to be supportive and welcoming, but it is judging an entire group of people because their ways of modifying their body are different to their ideas of body modification. You aren't superior because you have tattoos and someone else has cheek fillers.
As someone who has always felt part of the alternative community, to see us judging other people's choices hurts, especially when I didn't have a choice about whether or not to have Botox. Seeing memes and jokes about frozen foreheads and about how awful people must be who have it, it hurts. Being judged by people who know nothing about you sucks. Why people have body modification is none of your business, and what kind of body modification is 'OK' is none of your business either.
I believe everyone deserves total body autonomy, and that includes their right to get their preferred body modification without judgement from others. I want to see less judgement from the alternative and body positive communities, we have to learn to embrace everyone's choices about their own bodies. Whether you like the look of their modification, or would never have it done to yourself, you have no right to judge. The reasons I have Botox are irrelevant, I shouldn't have to justify it to you so you don't judge me.
Not your body, not your choice.
PS. All my tattoos are by Keely Rutherford!