Marie Claire’s editor-in-chief, Trish Halpin, talks about her role in the crucial changes the Government is recommending on cosmetic surgery.
‘An end to botched Botox and regulations for fillers and breast-implants are just two of the changes in the pipeline for cosmetic surgery. And I’m delighted to have played a role in this.
Last year I was invited onto a panel of experts to review the regulation of cosmetic interventions in the UK. Since then Marie Claire’s Take A Good Look campaign has been urging our readers to make sure they are aware of the risks, encouraging them to ask the right questions, do the research and be realistic about the outcomes of any procedures, because the truth is, very often they don’t live up to the expectation.
As a glossy magazine editor and journalist I’d always considered myself to be well informed about the beauty industry and the world of cosmetic surgery, having reported on the murky world of cosmetic surgery tourism, and the shocking PIP scandal, when it came to light that 45,000 women had given faulty breast implants containing industrial fluid. Like most people I had assumed that the PIP scandal was a one-off incident, and that any surgical procedure that takes place in this country would surely have to be safe. If you can walk down your high street and get a shot of Botox or some crows feet filled while on the way to do the weekly shop, I thought, then surely those products must be licensed or have undergone rigorous testing too? Yet when I joined the panel, chaired by NHS director Sir Bruce Keogh, I was truly shocked at how little protection UK consumers have in an industry that’s now worth over £2bn a year to our economy (Take fillers for example: there are currently nearly 200 fillers available in the UK, yet only 14 are licensed for use in the US).
But while we’ve been encouraging women to take responsibility for themselves, we’ve also been pressing the Government to change the law so they are more protected. At Marie Claire we celebrate and champion women whatever their lifestyle choices. And so now I’m delighted that the Government is taking on board these recommendations, including:
– training and qualifications for anyone who injects fillers or Botox
– a ban on manipulative advertising and special financial offers for surgery
– specific training for cosmetic surgeons accredited by Royal College of Surgeons
– a breast-implant register to monitor patients
This is really fantastic news, but while the law grinds away making this happen, (and let’s face it, it could take a while) please continue to make sure that if you are considering a cosmetic procedure, you still ask the right questions and ensure you are empowered, informed and above all safe.