Friday, July 10, 2009

Botox and Steroids - Rachel Weisz Chimes In

What does Nicole Kidman have in common with Barry Bonds? According to Academy Award-winning actress Rachel Weisz, both have used performance-enhancing drugs. In Kidman's case, Weisz is referring to Botox.

"It should be banned for actors, as steroids are for sportsmen," Weisz said in the August issue of the UK edition of Harper's Bazaar.

Steroids have been a major issue in baseball the last few years, and Bonds is the most prominent athlete to be tied to steroid use. The latest baseball star to be linked to steroids, Manny Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers, came back after a 50-game suspension to thunderous applause. His fans didn't seem to care.

Steroid use is mostly associated with athletes, but Botox is less harmful and more widely used. When we think about plastic surgery, Michael Jackson is the first person who comes to mind. Botox use, however, is different than other major types of plastic surgery. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimated that 4.6 million Botox procedures were performed in 2007, making it the most common cosmetic operation in this country. Practically anyone can do the operation: plastic surgeons, dermatologists, nurse practitioners, nurses, physicians' assistants, and medical spas.

Although Botox is mostly used by women, there are an increasing number of men who have started using the drug, which is injected into the skin to smooth out wrinkles. According to the Web site, side effects of Botox for cosmetic use include "droopy eyelids, nausea, muscle weakness, facial pain, indigestion, tooth problems, and high blood pressure."

Don't look for your favorite actor or actress to show signs of these side effects on the big screen, as they are very rare - less than 3%, according to eMedTV.

According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, side effects of steroid use include, for men, "shrinking of the testicles, reduced sperm count, infertility, baldness, and development of breasts".

The 39-year-old Weisz is best known for her roles in the "Mummy" movie franchise, and won an Academy Award for her work in "The Constant Gardener" in 2005 co-starring with Ralph Fiennes.

The English-born actress admits that she likes it better in London than in New York. She said that English women are much less worried about their physical appearance than in the United States. "I love the way girls in London dress. It's so different to the American 'blow-dry and immaculate grooming thing'."

The whole "Nicole Kidman is to acting what Barry Bonds is to baseball" analogy that Weisz made in her magazine interview is coming under some scrutiny. Typically, and Barry Bonds is a good example of this, steroids improve performance. In addition, they're much more dangerous. Weisz asks us, on the other hand, "why would you want to iron out a frown?" Botox would, in that case, diminish the performance.

Weisz said Botox injections should be banned for all actors. But to compare the procedure to steroids is like comparing a Chihuahua to a mountain lion. Barry Bonds' head has grown as much as his body. You can see the effects of years of steroids. It's not known by the general public what other side effects he may be suffering, like "shrinking of the testicles," but long-term use is extremely dangerous.

Nicole Kidman, on the other hand, looks just fine. I agree with Rachel Weisz that Botox injections are a waste of money, and she seems to be doing well without them. But steroid use is a real problem in this country, and to trivialize it by comparing it to Botox makes absolutely no sense.

If I see Nicole Kidman with "droopy eyelids," then I'll start to worry. In the meantime, Manny Ramirez is back to hitting home runs for the Dodgers, and instead of apologizing to his fans, he said: "Why do I have to? I'm one of the best players to put the uniform on." He's one role model we can do without.

Steroids and Botox have nothing in common. Rachel Weisz is right, though. In America, we are obsessed with the way we look. That's more of a psychological problem. But she goes on to say that the use of Botox injections leave actors less able to convey emotion, and that it harms the acting industry as much as steroids harm athletes.

You've got to be kidding.


  1. Nicole Kidman looks fine to you? You're the one who should be a comedian. As for Rachel Weisz's comments, i agree with her.

  2. Paul Solomon makes a lot of sense here. I agree with Rachel Weisz' comments that botox is of no medical necessity, but do you really think you can compare botox with steroids? As far as Nicole Kidman, this is the first I've heard of her using botox. I've seen pictures of her recently and I didn't notice. Maybe they did a good job. Either way, she won't have internal damage that would come if she used steroids.

  3. Actually Rachel is right, Botox can be compared to Steroids. Athletes take it to improve their performance and actors take Botox to improve their appearance. Both drugs also have bad side effects and both of them are abused to the hill. There should be a regulation on Botox and its uses as much as there is on Steroids.I think what's disturbing about this article is the authors lack of knowledge on the subject, which relies more on ignorance than actual journalism.And by the way, where is the so called scrutiny on Weisz's comments? More people are taking her side than disagreeing with her and if you think Nicole Kidman looks good, then you have not seen her recent films. She can't even move her face, that's how much Botox she has taken in her face.

  4. I disagree with Fred Feliciano. I think that Paul Solomon has a firm grasp of the subject. As it is an Op-Ed piece, he is giving his view of the situation. It's true, all drugs have side effects, even aspirin. But to compare steroids to botox is ridiculous, and I agree with the author.

    There have been many deaths attributed to steroids, young people have suffered irreversable harm, and Major League Baseball has found the subject of steroids, although belatedly, to be a serious subject. It's now banned in baseball across the board. There's a reason for that. If Barry Bonds used botox, people would compliment him on his looks. He took steroids, a serious and deadly drug that kills and maims. The "shrinking testicles" analogy is a good one. Do you really think that botox would cause side effects like these?

    I agree, in America we are obsessed by our looks. Again, I agree with Paul Solomon, it's more of a psychological problem. I also agree with Rachel Weisz that Botox is ridiculous, but there's just no connection to steroids.

    Good article.

  5. Paul Solomon brings up an excellent point. Steroids and botox have absolutely nothing in common.

    I didn't know Nicole Kidman used botox, so that's a new one to me, but I guess most female actors after a certain age are, similar to baseball, looking for a competetive edge.

    Steroids can be deadly. Botox, as the article says, is a "psychological" problem. That seems to be the whole point of the article.

  6. You can't compare the two. If athletes took steroids to improve their appearance, or if actors took botox to improve their performance, then you could compare them. Measurement of performance in sports, especially baseball, is heavily based on statistics, so the effect of steroids can be easily quantified. However, even if an actor improves his or her appearance with botox (which in itself is open to debate), it will not necessarily result in a better acting performance.

  7. How about banning Botox for politicans as well? In case you haven't noticed, Joe Biden can't move his forehead.

  8. Why on earth would anyone care whether an actor has or has not used Botox? Their looks are their stock in trade - obviously they're going to do whatever they can to maximize them. Which includes injecting one of the deadliest poisons know to man - botulinum toxin - into their bodies.

  9. Why do people think actors/actresses have anything intelligent to say? Anything worth printing?

    Listening to an actor/actress wrestling with an idea has to be the most painful thing imaginable. Tom Cruise comes to mind, particularly when he regurgitates the odd tenets of his humorous excuse for a religion.

    Please explain to me how botox "enhances" the performance of an actor?

    This is me waiting...

    Oh, you are right. It doesn't. In fact, makeup technology can cover anything and everything, making botox completely unnecessary.

    Botox is for people with money to burn or such insecurities they need to "feel better". Sounds like actors to me.

    How can steroids help athletes perform better? By increasing their strength and stamina.

    Why is using performance enhancing drugs morally wrong? Because it gives users a distinct advantage over non-users.

    Equating botox with steroids is evidence that one may need to take some basic courses in logic, if one is intelligent enough.

  10. Rachel is right and some of you are reading too much into what she said. Try reading it again, i don't think she's saying that they are the same, only that it should be held as high as that considering that the people in her industry do go too far with the procedure and it does effect their work and anybody who says differently does not know what they are talking about.

    Slow news day i guess.

  11. How is botox different from implants? If looks are a performer's stock in trade, just as strength and stamina are an athlete's, aren't they all "cheating"? I think the reaction to Ramirez says it all. Most Americans don't care if performers cheat as long as they are entertaining.

  12. Most of the web sites are quoting the Associated Press article. Paul Solomon's op-ed is the most insightful commentary on the subject that I've read. It seems to be a controversial subject, and I agree, steroids are a bigger problem.

  13. Fred, several questions for you. First, have you taken a survey of people reading the Weisz article so that you could say with certainty that most people agree with Weisz? Secondly, what makes you think that Weisz even did a minimal amount of research on the subjects of botox or steroids before she made the comments regarding those two subjects? (I believe she spoke off the top of her head without thinking or knowing much about steroids or botox.) Paul Solomon did his research and is right on the money with his explanation of the differences between botox and steroids. Thirdly, have you even seen Nicole in her recent films? I have and she has given excellent performances in all her films. Some films have flopped but not because of Nicole's performances. If you had seen Australia, Margot at the Wedding, even Invasion or Golden Compass, you would know that it is a stupid myth that Nicole's face does not express emotion. The truth is that you are mimicking other people who have joined some kind of weird bandwagon to rag on Nicole Kidman. I guess this is because they have some strange need to rag on somebody. Anyway, I totally agree with Paul Solomon. His article seems to be very objective and to quote facts on steroids and botox; in contrast to Weisz, Solomon has done his homework before he expresses his viewpoint. Also, Timbo, Weisz may not be up to wrestling with ideas but there are plenty of intelligent actors and actresses who are up to it. This is for Fred again: Nicole Kidman does not say things to offend other people in her interviews and I have read most of her interviews. Nicole is very professional as many co-workers have said and she would never make comments such as Weisz made which are unfair to other actors and actresses who think differently than she does. Weisz obviously does not understand how to or want to be tactful nor does she seem to care whether she offends other people; this also describes bloggers and journalists who rag so viciously on celebrities on the internet. Nicole does not engage in this type of behavior and is always very courteous, considerate and caring toward others, as her work associates, others who know her and those who have met her have often commented about her.

  14. "shrinking of the testicles, reduced sperm count, infertility, baldness, and development of breasts".

    Hmmm I would not mind the breasts, but the other side-effects are not worth it.

  15. In general people are divided about cosmetic surgery. Some people completely are against it, but admit if they had the money they would do it without a doubt.

    However to ban Botox completely in Hollywood is very unlikely. As shallow as it seems, the industry thrives on vanity. The public sees stars as flawless even in appearance. So the stars have to keep up with that appearance.

  16. To the anonymous poster on top who is on his or her soapbox for their love for Nicole Kidman by bashing Rachel Weisz, i have the magazine in question and Rachel does not mention Nicole at all. The Nicole comment was made by a reporter on Fox.

  17. Good call on this one. The comparison is pretty worthless. Steroid problems are so much worse than Botox.

    Americans are hung up on appearance. And I think that plays into how deathly afraid of aging (especially its visible signs) so many seem to be.

  18. That's just silly. Nicole Kidman actually looks worse because of all that work, not better. People can beat up on cosmetic surgery as much as they want, but as far as actors and performance-enhancing drugs, maybe someone should crack (no pun intended) down on cocaine and Adderall use for weight loss and extra energy.

  19. I don't think using botox gives any unfair advantage to actresses and it isn't exclusive to those in the entertainment industry. I see very little correlation between botox and the careers of actresses, nor is there a strong correlation between botox use and steroid use.

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