Imogen Edwards-Jones faces up to the ultimate anti-ageing decision and wonders if women really can have it all
The older you get, the more you realise that life is all about choices. Should I have worked harder at school? Should I have married this man? Should I have sold my house? Really moved to Kilburn? Should I put down this bag of crisps? Should I finish off this bottle of wine? Decisions, decisions. And as one rapidly slips the wrong side of forty there is one very tricky choice that troubles us all – one that was so artfully articulated by the stunning screen goddess Catherine Deneuve - should I lose all this weight off my arse to the detriment of my face?
Having lost a reasonable amount of weight off said arse (two stone, thanks mostly to that Nutrition Nazi, Amelia Freer ) I was quietly confident, I was exceptional, I was the only woman in the world to which the arse/face dichotomy didn’t apply. Turns out, of course, it was nothing more than blissful ignorance. A fact that became only too apparent after I made the terrible mistake of taking a selfie.
Just in case you think I am a narcissistic knob who photographs themselves sporting a cheek-chomping thong in their bathroom mirror and posts their splendiferous rear on Instagram; I’d like to point out that that was absolutely not the case.
Mine was an accidental selfie, and obviously the worse for that.
I was rooting around for a fag in my handbag when my sodding phone, that had been sodding played with by one of my sodding children, struck, and flashed me from its inner recesses. So it was a face-off selfie, slightly upside down, slightly cross not to be able to find my fags, and inevitably somewhat sozzled to be looking for the fags in the first place.
And all I can say is Christ on a bike! What a hound! Possibly Basset. Maybe Dasch. But sadly not Afghan. I have never seen ears/jowls like it, hanging down, flapping in the wind. This called for action; swift, fast and effective.
And there is no one more swift, fast and effective than Dr Frances Prenna-Jones . An ex-cardiologist who is now an anti-ageing expert with a terribly discreet clinic off Curzon Street, Mayfair. She is the go-to girl for anyone who wants to be ‘assisted’ rather than ‘done'.
Her aim, she explained, while squinting and flicking my facial slack with a pencil, is for one to look well, as if one has been on holiday and massaged by virgins, rather than some immobile lobotomised experiment in injectables - although apparently I am assured (not by FPJ) that that is actually how Simon Cowell likes it.
Before I had managed to fill her in on any fascinating details of my life, I had been Botoxed and instructed to return two weeks later with a realistic photograph of my younger self that wasn’t airbrushed or indeed 25 years old. Crikey, talk about swift. My buttocks had barely managed to imprint the leather chair before I was up and out and in the street.
Two weeks later I returned clutching what turned out to be my very illusive photograph. It took me a day of searching to work out that being a married mother of two, the only person who takes your photo is your own bloody mobile. There was not a single post-my-wedding snap in the house.
Frances looked at the photo.
“How long ago was this?”
“Um, seven? Eight years? Maybe ten?”
“Ten.” Her eyes narrowed again. “OK then, fillers: here, here and possibly here."
She applied some numbing cream and sunk in the needles. Fifteen minutes later I was pink-cheeked and walking up Curzon Street.
Another two weeks later and I can see the difference. My eyes are now visible below a cleverly arched brow and my cheeks are no longer around my knees. I look perky. I look well, and I look like I have been on holiday.
So to the perennial question of arse or face? With a little help from Frances, ladies, we can have it all!