Android Chic

Recently, there was a report on the Breakfast programme on BBC TV about the use of cosmetic facial fillers and the alarming situation whereby there is currently little regulation of the procedure and no requirement for those applying the fillers to have any kind of medical qualification. During the discussion there were several points that caught our attention.

 

Recently, there was a report on the Breakfast programme on BBC TV about the use of cosmetic facial fillers and the alarming situation whereby there is currently little regulation of the procedure and no requirement for those applying the fillers to have any kind of medical qualification. During the discussion there were several points that caught our attention.Firstly, one of the interviewees, a woman who herself had had facial fillers injected, was quoted as saying "People want to avoid getting old, don't they?" and, secondly, in the discussion that followed the pre-filmed report, the programme's medical doctor offered her opinion that people will continue to want cosmetic surgery and that the only issue was that the procedures should be ma{jcomments on}de safer.

 

We'd like to look at it from a different angle.

 

To start with, it seems that within the idea that "no-one wants to get older" there is a quite obvious avoidance of the fact that the only way not to get older is, in fact, to die. This is the only alternative to getting older, no question. You might think that there is a deliberate misunderstanding on our part of the meaning of the phrase "getting older" and you'd be right. Because what the interviewee was saying is that no-one wants to LOOK older. And we'd like to ask why not, what is the issue with showing that you have spent a larger number of years on this planet?

 

In past times, older people were valued for their wisdom and experience, now they're merely vilified for their wrinkles. It used to be said that by the age of forty you have the face you deserve, your history is written in your face. Now it seems that people's idea of looking good is to have no history, since more and more as soon as there is any evidence of life experience on your face, you visit your "cosmetologist" to have it wiped away. And after the first "work" that you have done, there only follows the second, the third etc. With each procedure, more and more of the character is removed so that there is a kind of "Android Chic" going on, especially in the faces that appear in the media.  

 

You might ask why this matters. If people want to look like that and have the money to spend on achieving it, why shouldn't they? We can't disagree with the notion that people are free to do as they please. But since the faces that appear in the media are the ones that create the currently accepted "look" - and it is becoming ever less likely that any naturally ageing face above a continually lowering age will appear in the media - this new aesthetic of Android Chic is, stealthily and without comment, taking hold.

 

People who think that there is another way to look good in age, a way based on looking good in your whole body through being fit, strong and, with luck, healthy - and not worrying if you have lines on your face - are not being represented in the media. We know that people want to look good throughout their life. We just believe that a smooth "ironed" look from the chin up, - with very little relation to what is happening from the chin down - is not the way. We think the key to looking good is that your look reflects a head-to-toe vitality obtained by working at keeping or improving your physical condition. People who think this way have no support in the media for the idea that looking human rather than having a face that appears to have been popped out of a factory mould is an acceptable way to age.

 

We have read two articles in the mainstream media recently - Stephano Hatfield in the Independent, and India Knight in the Sunday Times - commenting on the phenomenon. Both articles were prompted by the furore surrounding ex-MP Louise Mensch's admission of cosmetic facial surgery, and both make interesting reading. Hatfield takes the feminist view that as long as women are only judged by their appearance it is largely society's fault and nothing will change until the way that women are judged changes, and Knight starts encouragingly but ends by saying that eventually everyone will give in to the knife. However neither seems to see that between them the cosmetic surgery industry and the people who undergo these procedures are changing the terms, for everyone, of how you should look in age.

 

All the people on our site, and for whom we hope we speak, are well past the starting age for implementing this Android Chic but without it they all look wonderful solely through their enthusiasm for and participation in sport and exercise. Using a different currency, they are "looking good through being good". They are not in the position where their oh-so-smooth faces are making promises their bodies can't keep.

 

We aren't hopeful of changing the current trend, after all it is being driven by an industry with a massive investment and a huge advertising budget. But if we can offer up an alternative vision then we'll at least be fighting our corner. Because if the growth of Android Chic continues in the way that it is currently doing then anyone who after the age of 50 chooses to look like a human being rather than a factory-made artefact will feel more and more like a freak - whereas we'd like to ask "Who are the real freaks?".


#Android Chic