There's an expectation on women in Hollywood to not only look their best, but look their youngest — no matter how old they really are.
Maybe that's why actress Amanda Peet claims she's not exactly "aging gracefully."
Peet, like many of us outside of Tinseltown, has turned to products and treatments to keep the years at bay — but only to a point.
In a powerful essay she penned for Lenny, the 44-year-old explained her beauty and anti-aging balancing act, and why it doesn't involve Botox or going under the knife.
"I've bleached my teeth, dyed my hair, peeled and lasered my face, and tried a slew of age-defying creams," she wrote. "More than once, I've asked the director of photography on a show to soften my laugh lines. Nothing about this suggests I'm aging gracefully."
But getting Botox injections — or going beyond that — is strictly off limits, because the thought of it scares her.
"I'm afraid one visit to a cosmetic dermatologist would be my gateway drug," she continued. "I'd go in for a tiny, circumscribed lift and come out looking like a blowfish. Or someone whose face is permanently pressed up against a glass window. Or like I'm standing in the jet stream of a 747.
"What's the point of doing it if everyone can tell?" she continued. "I want the thing that makes me look younger, not the thing that makes me look like I did the thing."
And she's also afraid of even bigger consequences.
"I'm not happy about my saggy boobs, which, left to their own devices, resemble my grandmother's bingo wings," Peet wrote.
"But I'm afraid that if I got a surgical lift, there would be some complication from the procedure, like septic shock. I'd be punished for being an ingrate about having made it this far in one (wrinkly) piece."
And as a mother, she also fears the message she'd be sending her daughters — and their reaction to that message.
"Another frightening scenario is that one or both of my daughters will do as I did in my youth: go to college, take Feminist Texts and Theory, and stop shaving their legs and armpits. As hard-core feminists, they'll write me off," she imagined.
"I'll cry, 'Why aren't you coming home for Thanksgiving?' And they'll be like, 'You're nothing but a foot soldier for the beauty industrial complex.' Letting my face age naturally will be my ace in the hole. My counterclaim. Proof that I didn't pander to the male gaze."
Ultimately, the star decided she won't worry about the things she can't control — nor should the rest of us.
"Since we're all going to get wrinkly and die, maybe we've got to move in the direction of acceptance about that," she explained. "It's like what they teach you in driving school: if your car skids, turn the wheels right into it. It's counterintuitive, but don't fight the slide."
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