Ten Years Younger in Ten Days: Controversial makeover show gets a makeover

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Do you remember 10 Years Younger from 90s?

Have you let yourself go in the past 10 years? Don’t be too hard on yourself. Even classic makeover shows fall out of fashion and need a makeover. But can a new format revive this controversial cosmetic surgery makeover show from the 90s? Are makeover shows even welcome in this brave new world of body positivity, where saggy bellies flop out and proud?

The original Ten Years Younger was hardcore

When cosmetic surgery first become available to the masses, middle aged ugly ducklings queued up to be transformed on 10 Years YoungerThe Great British Public guessed their age before and after a bruising  round of surgery to see if it had worked – they didn’t hold back.

Is it time for a revival?

But times changed and extreme makeover shows lost their novelty value. Cosmetic surgery became normalised, vulgar even. An ethical dilemma proved their ultimate downfall: can makeovers inspire a life changing transformation or will their new found confidence wear off with the Botox?

There’s even a male contestant now!

It’s not a promising start: downgraded to Channel 5, where reality shows go to die. Cosmetic surgery is replaced by less hardcore non-surgical treatments and a ten day stopwatch adds a bit of drama. The D-list celebrity presenter (replacing Nicky Hambleton-Jones) valiantly whispers the virtues of inner beauty as the contestant winces from her Botox injection. 

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I still prefer the 90s version.

But the contradiction at the heart is fudged. In an age of body positivity, why is cosmetic surgery on the rise? Why must we pretend to love our wrinkles whilst mainlining Botox on the quiet? Technically the show is a success: the team of experts still manage to take ten years off, even without surgery. But I have a feeling that this low-rent revamp will remain a dirty little secret, just like cosmetic surgery.

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