Having become a champion for living life to the full – at every age but especially after 50, of course I just had to watch the new Channel 4 programme ‘ How Not To Get Old’.
If I was expecting a programme promoting a healthy lifestyle based on diet and exercise, learning new skills, taking up new interests and opening up our horizons to stay happy and healthy well into our actual old age, well it was a disappointment.
It seemed to be a long advert for the cosmetic surgery industry, where the whole programme was highlighting the latest treatment options to ping our ageing faces and flabby bodies back to their youthful proportions.
At one point it reminded me of watching Dr Who from behind the sofa as a child as I sat with my hands in front of eyes asking my less squeamish husband if it was safe to watch yet- as they filmed a 28 year old woman having a tummy tuck operation and a 41 year old man having his eye bags removed.
What worried me was the apparent trivialising of cosmetic surgery. As they stood the prospective patient in front of a wall of images of toned tums and asked her ‘which one would you want’, it seemed to reduce surgery to the equivalent of a trip to the supermarket. It was only at the end of the programme, when they did the ‘reveal’ that the 28 year old mum said that the operation was quite a major thing to do, requiring a month off work, and not something to be entered into lightly.
Too many squeamish moments
The fat freezing treatment Coolsculpt was tried by the presenter to slim her thighs ( another squeamish moment for me) and at a cost of £800 per thigh it seems the presenter saw no change. There was a glimmer of hope as the programme tuned to looking younger with makeup – although this segment was very brief and I was disappointed at the lack of explanation. As brushes were flicked and promises to make the 63 year old model look 20 years younger failed to deliver . I could only compare unfavourably to the videos from The MakeUp Facelift where women in their 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s are transformed without looking overly made up (I may be just a little bit biased here!)
With all the recent talk of the PIP scandal and the Keogh recommendations I am a little surprised to see a TV programme appear to promote cosmetic surgery and also to suggest that to have dermal fillers administered by beauticians is acceptable. Also when touching on dermal filers I found it misleading. They talked about the fact that there were different types of filers- permanent or temporary, but failed to explain the differences , or which were safe and tended to cause problems. They did not suggest questions to ask should you be considering these as an option for yourself.
In all a disappointing, shallow programme that seemed to looking at getting ‘old’ only in terms of looks. It did not talk about health, fitness, nutrition, setting new challenges or mindset.
‘How Not to Get Old’ seems to be the wrong title for this series. Let’s hope future episodes have less of an emphasis on looks, vanity and surgery.