10 Years Younger
I guess the first thing that strikes you about 10 Years Younger is that it’s an unnecessary, cruel, morally indefensible piece of body fascism that bullies ladies of a certain age into confronting their appearance by holding them up to merciless public scrutiny and subsequently pressuring them to mutilate themselves through plastic surgery so that they can once again become bearable to our eyes.
"The intersection of reality TV and makeover frenzy has finally resulted in this horrendous pornographic self-improvement free-for-all."
You might further reflect how TV has finally eaten itself. How the intersection of reality TV and makeover frenzy has resulted in this horrendous pornographic self-improvement free-for-all.
Being the self-aware type, you might then start to wonder if you’re taking it all too seriously. These are grown women after all – no one (we presume) put a gun to their head and they were probably contemplating cosmetic surgery beforehand. But let’s look at what actually happens on the show.
"Firstly, the unfortunate downtrodden woman is turded around by the 10 Years Younger presenter Nicky Hambleton-Jones
and given a quick diagnosis of why she is no longer sexually attractive."
Firstly, the unfortunate downtrodden woman is turded around by the presenter Nicky Hambleton-Jones and given a quick diagnosis of why she is no longer sexually attractive. She is then dragged by the lapels to be exhibited to the general public who line up to guess her age, their responses recorded to give everybody a laugh and to provide a Before to contrast with the miraculous After.
The self-mutilation crew comprises a hairdresser, dentist, make-up artist, cosmetic surgeon and Nicky herself as the clothing stylist. The subject goes through the care of these "experts" one by one and has soon been through more chemical processes than a Farm Foods frozen chicken.
Once the fabulous transformation is complete there’s a big reveal to the victim, the public are polled again and this time the age has come down considerably. And therein lies the justification for the show.
The passing of years is not kind to women. That’s something of an understatement – declining years show them the kind of consideration that the Marquis de Sade showed his squeezes. It spares them no indignity, no humiliation.
"Of course you will find relationships between older women and younger men though it’s very clear that these men are deranged sexual perverts with mommy issues."
"Beauty, youth and the ability to manipulate people with them are the equivalent of a cloak of invisibility or mind-reading powers "
While men can go on turning heads and breaking hearts into their sixties, a woman’s shelf-life as a sexually bankable commodity expires with such rapidity it still comes as a shock even when you’ve seen it a thousand times. Sex colossus Brigitte Bardot turned into Zelda from Terrahawks; imperious beauty Elizabeth Taylor turned into your fat lecherous aunt. Of course you will find relationships between older women and younger men though it’s very clear that these men are deranged sexual perverts with mommy issues.
Much feminine beauty relies on youth. And there are few things more powerful on the planet than a young attractive woman who knows her own mind. Her’s is the Earth and everything that’s in it. For those not born into political or fiscal power beauty, youth and the ability to manipulate people with them are the equivalent of a cloak of invisibility or mind-reading powers.
But it doesn’t last forever. If it did, we’d all be ruled by a power-crazed Pie Junta. And maybe that wouldn’t be a bad thing. But the increasing boldness of makeover shows, their ever more audacious encroachment into our daily life is bound to raise eyebrows (permenantly, if the slice and dice cosmetic surgeon here has his way).
What exactly are we about here? Entertainment? Voyeurism? And since when did we buy so completely into the nip and tuck philosophy? You know, I don’t think we ever did.
The best thing about it: The public age survey – the ducking stool suddenly looks humane.
The worst thing about it: The whole frigging concept.
The verdict on 10 Years Younger: Utterly without shame.
Marks out of 10: 4