Reading Time: 3 minutes

Michelle Obama might consider Botox

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

facebook twitter instagram

First Lady Michelle Obama reacts while talking on the phone to children across the country as part of the annual NORAD Tracks Santa program, December 24, 2013 (Credit: Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

First Lady Michelle Obama turns 50 tomorrow.  In an interview with People Magazine, Mrs. Obama says it’s possible she would consider plastic surgery or Botox at some point.  “Women should have the freedom to do whatever they need to do to feel good about themselves,” Mrs. Obama said.  “Right now, I don’t imagine that I would go that route, but I’ve also learned to never say never.”

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Americans spent $10.1 billion on more than 14 million cosmetic procedures in 2012.  We spend more than $1 billion on Botox each year, making it the most popular cosmetic treatment.  Such procedures are not limited to women—male treatments are on the rise as well.

There are many reasons why Botox and other cosmetic procedures are so popular in our culture.  Botox can be used to treat migraines and minimize some effects of cerebral palsy.  Cosmetic surgery can be life-changing for victims of cancer, accidents or other disfigurements.  But when I learned that plastic surgeries have increased 87 percent since 2000 (Botox treatments have risen 680 percent in that time), I wondered: what does their popularity tell us about ourselves?

{source}
<iframe style=”float: right; border: 1px solid #000000; background-color: #C0C0C0; padding: 2px; margin: 10px; -moz-border-radius: 3px; -khtml-border-radius: 3px; -webkit-border-radius: 3px; border-radius: 3px;” width=”360″ height=”270″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/qR3rK0kZFkg?rel=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>{/source}Have you seen “Jessica’s ‘Daily Affirmation'”?  A four-year-old stands in front of her bathroom mirror and tells herself, “I can do anything good…. I like my school…. I like my dad…. I like my mom…. I like my sisters…. I like my hair…. I like my stuff…. I like my room…. I like my whole house…. I can do anything good…. better than anyone.”  On May 1, 2010, her video had less than 5,000 views.  By last week, more than 14 million had seen it.  What does its popularity say about us?

I’m reading Henri Nouwen’s, The Inner Voice of Love.  The book is Father Nouwen’s personal journal, written during a seven-month period of deep personal crisis.  At one point, Nouwen says to himself: “There is a deep hole in your being, like an abyss.  You will never succeed in filling that hole, because your needs are inexhaustible.”  He notes that “people cannot give you what you long for in your heart,” so he tells himself to “stop being a pleaser and reclaim your identity as a free self.”

How?  “You must believe in the yes that comes back when you ask, ‘Do you love me?’  You must choose this yes even when you do not experience it. . . . Keep saying, ‘God loves me, and God’s love is enough.’  You have to choose the solid place over and over again and return to it after every failure.”

How will you fill the “deep hole in your being” today?