The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has produced a new code of practice aimed at doctors, nurses and dentists involved in cosmetic practices such as botox, breast surgery and liposuction.
Professional Standards for Cosmetic Practice focuses on the behaviour and competencies these professionals should be expected to demonstrate when providing cosmetic procedures.
This is good news, particularly for women who have gazed too long into the abyss (the Daily Mail’s sidebar of shame) and been hoodwinked by surgeons into thinking that all it takes is a highlighter pen, a scalpel and a Henry Hoover to cut out, suck up and readjust their flesh and – voila! – you look exactly like Cheryl Cole (kind of).
The guidance also tells surgeons they should not imply that treatment will improve a patient’s psychological wellbeing and to avoid words such as 'nicer' and 'better', instead using words such as 'smaller' and ‘bigger’ when talking about procedures. Hopefully this also includes not saying “I can absolutely make your nose more beautiful, less Jewish and unattractive” as experienced by Katie Green who wrote so eloquently about it for this paper last year.
As for those at-home cosmetic procedure parties, nicknamed ‘Botox parties’, the RCS has also advised they should be banned. The RCS recommends that only doctors, dentists or nurses who have undergone the appropriate training should be allowed to perform these treatments as currently they can be delivered by people with no medical qualifications or healthcare training.
In the old days women would hold ‘tupperware parties’ and eat cheese and pineapple on sticks whilst cooing at plastic boxes you could bung a quiche in and keep airtight for 15 years. Now we have ‘Botox parties’, where a person, who may have no medical qualifications whatsoever, comes over to your home to inject toxins into your face, while your friends gather round cooing at how tight your forehead is.
When it comes to cosmetic treatments, I’m in the ‘women can do what they want to their faces if it’s their choice’ camp. But it unnerves me that women are willing to take such risks for a smoother forehead. After all you wouldn’t let Sandra from the local beauty salon give you a manicure followed by a smear test would you?
Ladies, if you must nip and tuck, take note of what the RCS is saying and find a qualified medical practitioner who can give you professional expertise instead of crossed fingers, honesty instead of false expectations. Because your health and wellbeing is worth it, as Cheryl would say (kind of).