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What was the Anti-Ageing Show at Olympia really like? My review

anti-ageing show imageArticle by Ceri Wheeldon

There has been considerable coverage in the press this week about an exhibition held at Olympia last week called ‘the anti-ageing health and beauty show’.  I went along , primarily to see if it was an event to consider next year for a new project I am involved in.

According to one journalist ‘bits of us are falling apart’

Having read some of the reviews I am starting to wonder if I attended the same event. I had a call from one person asking if I had been to the Botox Festival they had read about in the press held at Olympia and today I read a summary of the show in the Financial Times. According to the FT the 11,300 visitors (me included) don’t ‘like what is happening to us at all’ and ‘bits of us were falling apart’ and we were ‘looking for a miracle’. Perhaps the writer was speaking for himself. He was definitely NOT speaking for me. Last time I checked I was all in one piece with nothing falling off at all.  The review alludes to ‘lots of people lying on hospital beds’.  How many beds? You had to go looking for them- they were not on the majority of stands. I certainly didn’t lie on one.

The review talks predictably about Botox and fillers available at the show – this I have to say was my one disappointment. Not that the treatments were discussed – I’m personally all in favour of informed choices but not in the actual medical treatments being offered in what is essentially a social environment , noisy, with bad lighting, and where people are likely to make ‘snap’ decisions where post treatment follow-up may not be straightforward. For the record my husband is an aesthetics doctor and would not consider treating people in that environment.

Many of the stands showcased skincare products and supplements- some of which we have previously reviewed on the Fab after Fifty website – and some we will share with you over the coming weeks.

Was I at a Star Trek convention?

I have to say that at some point I did wonder if I had arrived at a Star Trek convention as lots of women were wandering around the show with gold patches under their eyes – I saw several still wearing them on the tube as I made my way home. Not really a fashion statement I would have wanted to emulate.  I have no idea if these patches helped with wrinkles or eye bags, I do think if I was tempted to try it I would have preferred them to be in the privacy of my own bathroom!

Talks on Health and Wellbeing

Most of the reviews of the show seem to highlight the more extreme treatments on offer, suggesting that most women of 50 or 60 are willing to spend any amount of money to look 35. This is absolutely NOT the case for most of the women I know. We want to look our best, but staying as healthy as possible for as long as possible is our primary concern- particularly as we are all living longer and expected to work through to our late 60s. What none of the reviews – the FT included, seemed to mention were the ‘health’ aspects of the show. I attended talks on nutrition, the impact of hormonal changes on health, the importance of exercise – including yoga demonstrations and the effect of stress on the body and how to combat it. No needles or expensive procedures or products required to address any of these areas – just informed decisions based on information applied with a little time and common sense.

Interestingly my friend  was stopped by a journalist at the show and asked why she was at the show. It seems her answer didn’t fit in with wanting to spend lots of money to look 35 so her quotes weren’t used.

I suppose healthy eating doesn’t make good headlines.

Overall I enjoyed the show but was disappointed in the way the media portrayed it. Perhaps the name of the show itself didn’t help. Anti-ageing suggests we are all fighting something. Perhaps a Positive Ageing show would have elicited more favourable reviews .

If anyone else attended I would love to know what your thoughts were!


Ceri Wheeldon

Ceri is Founder and Editor of Fabafterfifty.co.uk She is a frequent speaker at events and in the media on topics related to women over 50 , including style and living agelessly. With 20+ years experience as a headhunter Ceri also now helps support those looking to extend their working lives.

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  1. Jaki Scarcello

    May 19, 2013

    The term anti aging has to go!
    Someone recently posted on her website that she would like to erase the phrase Fifty & Fabulous from the planet. She named me as the source and while she was complementary about my book of that name, she stated that she really wished I had never created such a title and introduced the world to the phrase.
    I was somewhat offended while being flattered at the same time…imagining that I had the power to generate a phrase which has become so popular and even overused.
    My critic’s claim was that such terms put unwarranted expectations upon us as we age ” why do we have to be fabulous” can we just not be?
    I could not agree more but such strong over the top language is needed to counteract the biggest blasphemy of our day” Anti Aging”
    First of all we cannot actually stop the process so what is the point of taking it on.
    Secondly we risk losing the gifts of life after 50 when we turn our backs on this time of life. Each stage of life has its own unique energy and we must be present and engaged in the stage to utilize that energy and see its benefits.
    This has nothing to do with health, just as Ceri says. We should all work at maintaining our physical fitness and our mental and emotional health at every stage of life.
    To make eternal youth our goal is to dedicate our remaining days to something which will without doubt break our hearts and frustrate and disappoint us .
    I am throwing my chips in with those who seek to make this the most vital and creative stage of their lives and I hope to be in that attitude for as long as I am here and I shall begin with accepting the year of my birth.

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