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TV Review of How Not To Get Old – Episode 1


How not to get oldArticle by Ceri Wheeldon

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.

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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Comments

  1. Anne Mackle

    August 8, 2013

    I watched the programme and agree with everything you say. I thought the make up widened their eyes but did not make them look younger, I would have loved more detail. I don’t think it’s about looking younger,I think we all just want to look the best we can be. I’ve never been good at putting on make up a only wear a little and it’s not changed for years. Maybe I should go and have a make up lesson. Yes the programme coukd have been a lot better after all who can afford all those treatments and surgeries. I don’t really care what my thighs look like.

    • Ceri Wheeldon

      August 8, 2013

      Anne, I agree with what you say about the make-up. You might like the video tutorials over at http://www.themakeupfacelift.com. They are all very straightforward! Ariane offer individual lessons too as well as events. Ceri

  2. Anne Mackle

    August 8, 2013

    I watched the programme and agree with everything you say. I thought the make up widened their eyes but did not make them look younger, I would have loved more detail. I don’t think it’s about looking younger,I think we all just want to look the best we can be. I’ve never been good at putting on make up a only wear a little and it’s not changed for years. Maybe I should go and have a make up lesson. Yes the programme could have been a lot better after all who can afford all those treatments and surgeries. I don’t really care what my thighs look like.

  3. Ute Wieczorek-King

    August 8, 2013

    Thanks for this review Ceri. I haven’t watched it yet, but was expecting a more holistic approach to not getting older! I will now delete my recording and thanks to you I can do something better with my time 🙂

    • Ceri Wheeldon

      August 8, 2013

      Pleased I’ve saved you from wasting an hour Ute. That’s not to say future episodes wont be better though! 🙂

  4. Maureen Robson

    August 8, 2013

    There are an awful lot of shallow programs on the TV at the moment, I didn’t see this one but from your review, I can tell it would have annoyed me too. I watched the recent Robson Green series about the North East, I’m from there and love it but even I got annoyed at the platitudes and “dumbing down”. Or is it just that I’m getting old…..?

  5. Karen Knott

    August 8, 2013

    I was going to watch it tonight but I don’t think I’ll bother now! It sounds similar to 10 Years Younger, which used to make me furious in that each week their anti-ageing formula was to dismantle a woman from head to toe and reassemble with as many ‘new & improved’ bits as possible!

  6. karen noble

    August 8, 2013

    i agree with your review. Was expecting a more healthy approach on how to grow old healthily. The lady plastic surgeon did a show last summer on aging and it showed how sugar ages you and what it does to the collagen in your skin. Was very informative and kickstarted me into giving up sugar as much as possible. that is what Iwas expecting from last night’s show.

  7. Suzanne Flay

    August 8, 2013

    I watched it too and was disappointed, for a start not everyone in it was very old, (compared to me!) only the lady who had her makeup done, and as you say not enough detail given about what the products were, where you buy them etc, only that the whole lot cost over £100! Personally I have found Boots No 7 good and affordable, and I am going to have a makeup session done there by one of their beauticians, to find out what suits me and what products to use now my skin is older. My dentist offered me dermal fillers, which I politely declined, I go there to have my teeth not my wrinkles filled! I think the whole thing is just a moneyspinner and am determined to try and keep looking good by good diet, exercise and just enjoying life, not by going under the knife which to be honest scares the c***p out of me!

  8. twitter_AlexCoppocBunce

    August 9, 2013

    Where is the programme telling people to enjoy the ageing process, feel good about themselves and not need to spend shed loads of money to creepy people who manipulate you into feeling inadequate?

    • Gill Cato

      August 31, 2013

      Agree. I really think the most attractive ladies are the ones that are happy in their own skin. Loads of makeup is NOT the way to go. Haven’t seen the programme discussed, but is looks like I didn’t miss much

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