If an African girl wanted FGM we would be outraged, and rightly so. Why would we cut girls to control their sexuality and satisfy men? We can all agree on this. Yet when a girl from a non-FGM practicing community wants to be cut, trimmed or tucked we're told it's her choice. Aren't both examples of cultural coercion? Are we saying one happens to adults and the other to children? To some extend, that's true. But there are nine-year old girls, accompanied by their mothers, asking for cosmetic surgery on the NHS. Girls with normal genitals. Confused? Me too.
There are several different types of hair loss, from the commonor-garden 'male pattern baldness' - real name 'androgenic alopecia' - to the rarer 'alopecia areata', where clumps of hair fall out. For the latter problem, hair does usually grow back eventually, but male pattern baldness tends to be degenerative - i.e. it will keep on going.
In my mind it's simple; cosmetic surgery isn't to be taken lightly, and giving it away as a prize or reward is frankly just irresponsible. I can't even begin to express my horror after reading about an American ophthalmologist who was in the news this week for offering cosmetic procedures to anyone who can set him up with his 'dream woman'.
Websites such as Wowcher and Groupon offer heavily discounted treatments in return for signing up to their newsletters. Every day members receive enticing offers ranging from half price holidays to laser hair removal. From the outside these beauty deals may seem like a great way to look better on a budget; but at what cost?
The main difference between men and women is arguably just fear. Most women admit they are scared of looking older, and some will do almost anything in their power to keep the classic signs of ageing at bay. That's not to say there aren't examples of older females who look and feel fabulous as they age.
They say true love lasts forever; but can this be said for Britain's love affair with Botox? Botox and fillers have undoubtedly cemented themselves as a cosmetic phenomenon in the last decade, as the injectable treatments offered patients a younger-looking face without the pain, and hefty price tag, associated with invasive surgery like facelifts.
Am I chasing a hopeless dream in wanting to see the fear of growing old fully eradicated from consciousness, if at all possible? Ageing is part of living. Older faces and older bodies are not ugly, they are simply old. What's wrong with our society, that we regard older people as useless and ugly being?