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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Express Yourself With this League of Women Voters-Endorsed Outpatient Procedure!

posted by on May 20 at 17:15 PM

From Slog tipper Angie comes the bizarre story of an event at EMP called “Freedom of Expression Through Film,” billed as “dinner and a presentation featuring a keynote speech by an actress of note.” The event, sponsored by the respected League of Women Voters, seemed like a standard appetizers-booze-and-mingle affair. That is, until the main event, which turned out to be a promotion for Botox—the pharmaceutical injection best known for turning the once beautiful Nicole Kidman into an expressionless, bat-faced freak. (See Fig. 1, below)

And the “actress of note”? None other than Virginia Madsen, last seen expressing herself freely (well, except in the eyebrow region) alongside Matthew Broderick in the Alzheimer’s caper “Diminished Capacity.” According to tipper Angie, both Madsen and her mother spoke fondly about the wonders of Botox; afterward, “an increasingly thinning crowd” listened to a pitch by the League of Women Voters about its “Vote411” web site, billed by the League as “a ‘one-stop-shop’ for election information including a national polling place locator, general and state-specific information on voter registration, absentee ballot rules, early voting provisions and ID requirements.” Then they got a bunch of Botox schwag, including a rhinestone-encrusted Botox T-shirt.

Here’s the pitch, from the collagen-enhanced mouth of Madsen herself:

Today’s women have so many ways to express themselves. As an actress, I have the opportunity to convey my views through the projects I choose and the characters I play. But like many of you, I’m also a daughter, a mother and a professional. One thing we all have in common is that we have more choices available to us today than ever before – choices that the generations before us didn’t have.

Today, we dictate our career paths, how we raise our children and our role in the political arena. We’ve also changed our overall approach to managing our health, which today includes everything from eating right and exercising to new approaches to beauty and “aging gracefully.”

As you know, I have been very open about my treatment with BOTOX® Cosmetic (Botulinum Toxin Type A) to the astonishment of many in the industry. For me, the decision to share my experience and beauty insights was one I made for myself and not something I felt I should have to defend or hide. I approached it as I do all things in my life – I informed and educated myself, and made the right decision for me.

This is why I have chosen to support the Freedom of Expression through Film campaign in partnership with the League of Women Voters and Allergan, Inc. – the makers of BOTOX® Cosmetic. The campaign encourages women to express themselves openly and honestly – something I do in both my personal and professional life – and underscores the importance of making educated, informed choices about life and beauty.

So, basically, if you’re a liberated, modern woman, you should feel free to go right ahead and express yourself by using Botox. It’s basically the same thing as running for office! And elective cosmetic procedures? Why, those are right up there with volunteering and balancing work and family.

It’s unclear why, exactly, a venerable institution like the League of Women voters would participate in a campaign like this. To say that encouraging women to purchase an expensive cosmetic procedure promotes “women’s expression” is like saying that high heels promote women’s mobility. You want to lose the ability to make a range of facial expressions, be my guest—but don’t sell it to women as a transformative experience along the lines of, say, taking part in a political movement or choosing to work outside the home. That’s just condescending. And bizarre.

(Fig. 1)

RSS icon Comments


It's the new Freedom Torch! Hooray! Bernayse would be proud.

Posted by pbaitch | May 20, 2008 5:26 PM

Nicole USED to be beautiful, until Ronald McDonald got hold of her with the Botox.

Posted by Wolf | May 20, 2008 5:27 PM

Wow, I totally agree with you, this seems very strange coming from the League of Women Voters. I don't think Botox is aging gracefully, I think Botox is denying that you are aging at all.

Posted by PopTart | May 20, 2008 5:28 PM

Scary! she looks like Hepburn from Golden Pond.

Posted by vooodooo84 | May 20, 2008 5:30 PM

This is the weirdest story I've ever heard.

Posted by David Schmader | May 20, 2008 5:32 PM

There are procedures that minimize the appearance of wrinkles and don't paralyze your entire face. Why can't actresses go with those options? The bat-boy effect is so much worse than a few fine lines.

Posted by keshmeshi | May 20, 2008 5:35 PM
League and Allergan Join Together to Launch Voting Campaign at New York City Event (NEW)

The LWVEF recently entered into a relationship with Allergan (a leading maker of eye care and skin care products) on their “Freedom of Expression through Film” campaign in 2008. The relationship has multiple components including sponsorship of the League’s Web site; creation and distribution of a League PSA featuring Oscar®-nominated actress Virginia Madsen; and sponsorship of ten GOTV events around the country that will allow us to involve a new demographic of voters that we have not previously reached as a group, workers in the beauty industry. These ten events are aimed at educating attendees about the importance of being able to express oneself freely and to make educated, informed decisions, including decisions as a voter. The events will also feature Allergan’s products, including their BOTOX® cosmetic product. Additional questions can be directed to Nancy Sturm at

So that's why. I'd email Nancy and ask her why she's being so condescending.
Posted by elenchos | May 20, 2008 5:38 PM

Coming Soon!

Thong Depends!

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 20, 2008 5:50 PM

Oh crap, Will. You just made me throw up a bit.

Posted by El Seven | May 20, 2008 6:02 PM

Yeah, this is weird. Isn't the League of Women Voters supposed to be, like, a respectable organization? As in the kind that wouldn't promote this kind of crap?

Posted by Greg | May 20, 2008 6:08 PM

Nicole's got something more than just Botox going on there. Definitely lifting, and her whole face looked pumped full of something -- it's a completely different shape than it used to be.

But, yeah, this meeting sounds like the weirdest thing ever. Respect for Madsen just shrank to zero. Funny how a "feminist" organization like this is so much worse than their supposed enemies. This is far worse than a couple of douchebags shouting "iron my shirt" at Hillary.

Posted by Fnarf | May 20, 2008 6:16 PM

That is a horrible, horrible picture.

Posted by KeeKee | May 20, 2008 6:17 PM

I just remembered how sexist it was when they posted that really unflattering photo of Hillary Clinton. Funny how when you want to attack a woman it's easy to use a close up of her face in the wrong light. Women who are suspected of "cheating" to look better are particularly vulnerable. Which is perhaps what Madsen is speaking up about.

Personally I think she looks 40 and pregnant and perfectly fine.

Posted by elenchos | May 20, 2008 6:31 PM

Only one link per post. Sorry. That's the rule. Paralyzed and expressionless? Her face didn't seem paralyzed in The Golden Compass either; critics seem to have liked her work in that, if I remember correctly.

Posted by elenchos | May 20, 2008 6:36 PM

Also, since I gots my thinking cap on, how come this is a hit job on Nicole Kidman instead of Virgina Madsen? What did Kidman do to anybody deserve this abuse?

Posted by elenchos | May 20, 2008 6:48 PM

It's official... elenchos has a vendetta against Erica.

This post seems totally innocuous to me. But whatevs, you're free to waste time on proving Erica wrong every time she posts.

Posted by Anon | May 20, 2008 7:05 PM

It's a fair point. Kidman wasn't at the meeting, didn't have fuck-all to do with it; she's minding her own business many thousands of miles away. Interesting.

Posted by Fnarf | May 20, 2008 7:26 PM

"It’s unclear why, exactly, a venerable institution like the League of Women voters would participate in a campaign like this.."

duh, erica. it's pretty clear to me that allergen inc. gave the lwv a bag of money to pimp their prod. how else could you explain this contrived and (otherwise) unnecessary promo?

Posted by ellarosa | May 20, 2008 7:41 PM

I love it when feminism reveals itself for what it truly is: Misogyny.

Welcome to the club bitch, now get me a beer and STFU.

Posted by I'm a Nuclear Bomb | May 20, 2008 8:03 PM

Erica is the primary reason I've cut down on slogging. She rarely posts anything that isnt some screechy femiprop diatribe. Her scope of interest is so limited and lopsided that most her posts are boring and predictable (Misogynists! Transit! . and the fact she is the most prolific Slog contributor cuts down on anything of interest out there. She also doesnt know how to properly link things or edit her posts so they wind up taking up several more pages than they should or what it warrants. Did I mention the piss poor quoting she does?

All in all she is the worst thing thats happened to slog and offers nothing.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | May 20, 2008 8:19 PM

Botox actually does have some legitimate medical purposes. The doctor I work for uses it to treat Parkinson's and other movement disorders. Medicare even pays for it. One patient came in the other day who I thought was just out of college. Turns out she was 89 years old.

I keep asking the doctor to save the leftover Botox for some after hours injection parties for her office staff. She said no. She also declined to sign a note declaring that I need medical marijuana. What a party pooper...

Posted by RainMan | May 20, 2008 8:26 PM

I can almost hear the ugly girl cackling when she found the weird pic of Nicole Kidman.

Posted by Bob | May 20, 2008 8:36 PM

Bob, you're an ass.

Posted by elenchos | May 20, 2008 9:19 PM

I'm back from MN!

This just goes to show that Ginny got the lucky, never-to-be-repeated break of her life in "Sideways." (For more evidence, see "Firewall." Or "The Astronaut Farmer." Or "The Number 23.")

Posted by Big Sven | May 20, 2008 9:25 PM


That picture is just - um, well, all I can think of is images of Katherine Helmond's face swarthed in Saran Wrap and Jim Broadbent saying, "snip, snip, slice, slice - can you BELIEVE it?"

Posted by COMTE | May 20, 2008 9:40 PM

Uh, that Bob is not the same as this Bob. Anyway, ECB isn't ugly, she's totally cute.

Posted by bob | May 20, 2008 10:22 PM

PS - from the photo he posted on his blog Bob is not exactly what I'd call a looker. Not ugly, but certainly a scruffy hippie-type.

Posted by bob | May 20, 2008 10:24 PM


Club Bitch, did that recently open in Belltown? Oh, and if you think ECB is indicative of feminism or representative of all feminists, you're crazy. Now STFU and get me a cosmopolitan.

Posted by keshmeshi | May 20, 2008 11:25 PM

That is a bit shocking from the league of women voters.

And on a superficial note, I don't blame botox for the Nicole picture- its her hair. It is so light it blends with her skin, it is teased straight up, and her hairline is very high. These things combine to make her look like she is going bald. Her face is still cute, if a bit stiff.

Posted by Allie | May 21, 2008 12:49 AM

I'm conflicted. On one hand, yeah, Botox is sort of retarded.

On the other, should we care what Nicole Kidman, or any woman, does to her face? Shit, why do we have such a huge personal investment in what she looks like? Ok, she's vain! Who cares?

Posted by Gloria | May 21, 2008 7:32 AM

I hope they got a bunch of cash for doing these events (cash that they will presumably use for a good cause), because this is pretty ridiculous/weird. It's a pretty big stretch to say that doing these types of events would allow them involve a new demographic of voters.

Posted by Julie | May 21, 2008 8:49 AM

Oh, thanks for taking my tip. whew. When I got the 'invitation' I decided I had to go in a way that would indicate my life/liberty was at stake. Two straight hours of doublethink. Please see my blog for my report I submitted as a blog tip to the Stranger office.

Posted by Angie | May 21, 2008 3:55 PM

The Real vs. The Fake. The battle never ends...

Real keeps getting defeated, but there's so much of it to be squashed & replaced with Products You Must Buy Now or Be Left Behind.

I'mm still irked that Nicole is "blonde". It's like it's a law anymore.

I remember an America when teeth were ... tooth colored.

Posted by CP | May 21, 2008 4:08 PM

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