Faces - By Lois Rogers

In this post, journalist Lois Rogers - who is set to speak at our forthcoming workshop on 'Routine Maintenance' & 'Exceptional Procedures' - reflects on our changing attitudes to cosmetic procedures

Changing our faces used simply to be a matter of make-up, but now procedures involving Botox, microsurgery, fat transplants and cosmetic fillers offer the promise of radically altering, and hopefully improving our looks.

These procedures used to be conducted in the utmost secrecy. Although the results were usually crude and obvious, people aggressively denied having had ‘treatment’ for fear of being ridiculed.

We journalists soon learned not to comment. If you can’t prove something is true, there’s a risk of being sued. Many celebrities, confident they had paid for the silence of their surgeons, obtained big payouts from anyone daring to suggest their smooth middle-aged features were not entirely natural.

Since the 1980s however, the results of cosmetic treatment have improved radically, and attitudes have changed too. Risky, invasive procedures are now available to all and presented in the media as utterly normal.

The acceptance of this expensive vanity is part of a wider acceptance that many people [women] are taking ever more extreme measures to compete socially and professionally.

The lines and expressions of our faces reflect our personalities and are a key part of communication. If the current trend continues, middle-aged women may soon be identified by their blank immobile stares…  

Lois Rogers is a well-known specialist in health, science and social policy, who writes for The Sunday Times, The Daily Mail, The New Statesman, The Economist, and a variety of international publications.

She has written a great deal on the pros and cons of anti-ageing treatments of all kinds and has a long-standing interest in the social, economic and political implications of increased life expectancy. 


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