Anti-Ageing – is it time to forget about it?

Written by hannahrose

Plastic surgery is scarily and quickly becoming a relatively blasé subject amongst women of the 21st century.

Plastic surgery is scarily and quickly becoming a relatively blasé subject amongst women of the 21st century. Botox lunchtime, surgeons answer to ‘fix yourself’ on work breaks is the latest craze to grasp its claws around women’s insecurities, already at large thanks to the British media.

Recent programmes have been ruthlessly advertising the multi-million pound industry, the most notable Lord Sugar making the moral mistake (I’m sure not the first) of involving himself in what will be a chain of quick fix clinics on your local high street at affordable prices, with The Apprentice winner and now business partner Dr Leah Totten.

Car crash TV

Of course we all remember 10 Years Younger, the show where women who dared have the audacity to let themselves look their age or worse, older, were treated like five year old children back in the playground being bullied by a group of cool kids. In this instance, a circle of hair stylists, fashion experts and make-up artists look on in disgust, only accepting this odd creature into their gang once they were fully preened and not looking a day over 30.

Shows like this are sugar coated as ‘car crash TV’,  but to me, anything making female viewers sit at home and question their own bodies, creating their own inadequacies that wouldn’t have existed without the help of pushy TV ‘experts’ are a lot more sinister than we give them credit for.

We’ve all been perfectly primed over the years for these shows to keep appearing, view counts are guaranteed due to a common hatred of ageing, isn’t it time for things to turn around, females can finally relax and celebrate the inevitable?

Told to act as down to earth

The latest to show on our screens is Channel 4’s How Not to Get Old, which describes itself as ‘the ultimate consumer guide on how to keep looking younger for longer’, excellent timing for Lord Sugar. The programme features ageing women undergoing surgery and celebrates the products available to help us avoid wrinkles and sags.

Presenter Louise Redknapp has been told to act as the down to earth, mumsy character throughout the show – hey guys, you don’t have to be a billionaire’s housewife to enjoy the benefits of surgery, it’s accessible to the everyday woman too!

The problem with this falsity is that it brings us back to 2007 when Redknapp showcased a documentary on Size 0, criticizing the media for putting constant pressure on women to strive for aesthetic perfection, everything How Not to Get Old is aiming for. Redknapp managed to slim herself to a size 0 during the programme to show the negative effects, in the same year she was signed as the face of lingerie company Triumph, showcasing her tiny new body.

Hypocrisy, shallowness and desperation

All I can see is hypocrisy, shallowness and desperation hiding behind the persona of the approachable cockney lass—a complete façade. Definitely not someone any woman should be trusting as a role model.

Celebrating getting old is easier said than done with adverts such as the Clairol “Kate still looks like Kate” campaign, insinuating that after 3 moves and 2 new-borns, Kate’s husband is getting older, but it would be utterly unacceptable for Kate (a model looking no older than 25) to let her greys grow in. We seem to lap it all up but ignore the subtle hints of complete 1950s sexism staring us in the face.

As a 21 year old, I find it hard to fight the national scare of ageing that will approach me over the next 15 years. With more stress created by the media, it seems like we’re slowly going back in time when we should be moving forward – anti-ageing is the last thing women need on their list of things to tackle. It’s not something I want around for my children.

A money making scheme

I’m all for being confident in our bodies, and a housewife and mother of 2 I recently discussed the issue with, agreed, arguing that if the odd bit of surgery makes them comfortable then what’s the problem?

But it feels to me the problem is that it’s not a real comfort, it’s a money making scheme presented to us as something that will make us comfortable when in fact, will do quite the opposite. By brainwashing us through constant shows, adverts and articles we make ourselves believe it’s a necessity.

Maybe if we step outside the rush of anti-ageing we’ll see that wrinkles, greys and laughter lines all tell a story of our lives and are what makes us, us. We need to ask ourselves, what is it we are actually running from?

What do you think? Is there too much promotion of anti-ageing in media? Have your say in the comments section below, on Facebook or on Twitter.