NBC TV host Megan Kelly and Jane Fonda squared off recently during an interview in which Kelly asked Fonda about her cosmetic surgeries. (Click) Fonda was caught off guard. She’d come to promote her latest theatrical venue and wasn’t expecting a girly snarl. The question strikes me as odd, also, coming from a journalist who knows cosmetic tinkering is common in Tinsel Town. Hollywood sports so many balloon faces, male and female, they could lift the Titanic from its resting place on the Atlantic floor.
Of course, cosmetic treatments aren’t for everyone. You won’t see many balloon faces working behind the counter at McDonald’s. Botox injections to erase facial lines, a $2.8 billion industry, cost $600 a treatment and have to be “refreshed” regularly. (“The Botox Margin of Error,” by Cynthia Koons, Bloomberg Businessweek, Oct. 30, 2017, pgs. 51-53)
That Jane Fonda has had cosmetic surgery isn’t a story. The story is why so many wealthy people are willing to jab Botox, a deadly toxin, into their bodies. True, when illness comes into play, risks may be part of the equation. Botox provides relief for several ailments: migraines, depression, muscles spasms, crossed eyes, and overactive bladder. Scientists are now studying its effect on atrial fibrillation. And, yes, I know Botox sets no precedent. We use other deadly substances for medical purposes. (Click).
But, of all these materials, Botox poses the greatest danger. According to reporter Cynthia Koons, “…a study published in 2001 in the Journal of the American Medical Association said that a single gram of it in the crystallized form, ‘evenly dispersed and inhaled, would kill more than a million people.’” (Ibid pg. 51) So toxic is this substance, the Federal government regulates its production and imposes security restrictions equal to those demanded at nuclear weapons sites. (Ibid, pg. 53) Being lethal in such small quantities means security is crucial. That’s why the government has given Allergan, the drug’s manufacturer, a virtual monopoly. More than one producer would increase the risk bad dudes might get their hands on it. No patent on the formula exists, for the same reason. Like Coke, the secret is locked in a vault under heavy security.
As I said at the outset, given what we know about the dangers of Botox, Megan Kelly certainly missed her story. The public probably doesn’t care when Jane Fonda had her last beauty treatment. What they should want to know is how Jane Fonda’s vanity justifies the mass production of a toxin that poses a real and present danger to humanity and the planet.