10 Years Younger in 10 Days is surprisingly hardcore, as if a team of aliens had descended from planet Botox to mold us in their image. For one, it sprinkles low-key cosmetic surgery procedures into an average makeover show (this somehow seems more sinister than Extreme Makeover, which is a bit more up-front about things.) But more bizarrely, it deposits its participants in large perspex boxes, smack-bang in the centre of Circular Quay… to be judged. And then there’s Sonia Kruger who emanates a hardcore, gym-buffed, tanned, no-nonsense Sydney socialite vibe.
But there’s also a naff element to things. The advisory teams seem a bit… clunky. Lots of awkward silences and uncomfortable laughter. Like they’re trying to be either Carson or the horrid Trinny and Sussanah. And the “looks” they create are somewhat kitchen-sink… Whiter teeth, less weight, more tan… pink for the girls, blue for the guys. “Let’s bring out your feminine side”, and so forth.
And most shockingly, last night the “lack of hair” problem “suffered” by the male participant was solved by shaving off the top plate of his head, and then glueing on a “semi-permanent” hair solution. This reminded me of the unconvincing room makeovers delivered by Changing Rooms — you always got the sense that the “nautical themed” kids room wouldn’t survive a week of real-life living, and nor do you get the sense that a “semi-permanent” hair solution is gonna look quite as permanent in a few weeks time. But seriously, the evil subtext is that it’s making botox, eye-lifts and tummy tucks seem as everyday as dye-jobs and a new fringe. Maybe it is a bit of an arbitrary boundary, but stretching the scope of conformist self-recreation to include the body is a bit frightening.