The other week I was (kindly) invited to a debate. I put the 'kindly' in brackets because it was courtesy of a site that is aimed at people just slightly older than I am at forty! The website High50 hosted a debate asking 'are the needle and the scalpel a step too far?' at the Royal College of Surgeons and I went along to listen to Dr Sister, being an avid supporter of his anti-ageing techniques.
The debate was chaired by the lovely (and very-young-looking-for-fifty Mariella Frostrup) and introduced by the dapper editor of High50, Tim Willis. The vast and very grand Council Room room at the RCS was packed to the rafters with glamorous fifty-something ladies and the odd smattering of gentlemen too. Now a word about High50 before we go on, just to set the scene and in it's own words 'is for people who have come through the last half-century in pretty good shape and are looking forward to the next'. It's a lifestyle website and a great one at that.
Now it's easy for me to say, having just mourned my thirties but I think it's equally easy to argue when you are Jo Fairley, renowned beauty guru and co-founder of the wonderfully addictive Green and Black's chocolate and again who doesn't look a day over forty herself but unbelievably and to much applause declared herself to be fifty-six! Just for those of you who don't know Dr Sister, he is the world-renowned anti-ageing and hormone specialist, who specialises in minimally invasive procedures, I myself having tried out his Dracula Therapy (and loved it!).
Both sides argued fairly and succinctly, maybe too fairly for my liking but all the same the debate was lively and fun. So here were the main points folks:
Jo argued for growing old gracefully ( which is easy if you do!) and for looking after yourself, getting good sleep, eating well and wearing the right make-up. She argued that the cosmetic surgery industry needs tighter regulation and rightly so with many women with 'low self -esteem turning to cosmetic surgery' to right all the wrongs in their lives without understanding the risks. Daniel then took to the stage. Although arguing 'for' he doesn't perform full-blown cosmetic surgery and said he will refer patients but sees it as a 'last resort'. He clarified the facts and the four tenants that doctors always learn ' efficiency, ethics, innovation and of course safety (never harm). He argued that cosmetic companies throw many millions of pounds at good marketing for products that have no proven efficacy. How they publish studies which are meaningless, with few numbers in their trials. I have to say that I am 100% in agreement with him here. He performs procedures based on scientific proof and cold, hard facts. Ie ones that work. They do make you look younger full stop. He talked about chronological and biological age in an ageing population where people need to look as young as they feel to compete. A fair point and why not?
The annoying thing for me; someone who is hugely competitive, is that after the debate and questions from the floor, mine to Jo asking her if she would be so anti the needle had she not been a very-young-for-fifty lady ( of course her answer was no!), a show of hands was requested and what looked quite close was called a draw! Boring! But fun with a lovely goodybag packed full of Beauty Works West treasures to take home in including the amazing Youth, the hormone balancing supplement invented by Dr. Sister himself containing the all important, but often overlooked l'arginine, which fights the battle against ageing. Who can argue with that?