Documentary series. Hayley Pearce explores the rise in cosmetic procedures. Will Hayley herself go for lip fillers, or decide her pout is perfect already?
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I had a boob job nearly two years ago.
I'd always wanted bigger boobs,
never needed bigger boobs cos I had a good set of boobs,
but, yeah, I just thought,
"I'll go and buy a pair of tits."
But they're not fake-fake boobs like I wanted -
they wobble, they bounce,
I still need to wear a bra every day,
I have to flick them sometimes to get my nipple out. Yeah.
So, I know I've got a cracking cleavage, don't get me wrong,
but sometimes I just think, "What a waste of four grand."
I mean, if money was no object, would I have more stuff done?
Well, I'm not going to lie, I can't stand my feet.
I don't know if anyone can fix these trotters, though, so, yeah,...
Maybe the odd bit of fat from here and there.
No, I'm quite happy the way I am.
But one thing I am actually considering is having lip filler.
Loads of my friends have had it done, it's like the in thing now.
They only last a couple of months,
but I just think, you know, if you mess them up,
that's your face.
I'm Hayley Pearce.
You know, the tea lady from BBC Three's The Call Centre.
I'm a fairly typical twenty-something from the Valleys
just trying to get by and make sense of it all.
MUSIC: Millionaire by Cash Cash and Digital Farm Animals feat. Nelly
# I feel like a millionaire
# I feel like a millionaire... #
We're all in search of the perfect body,
and for most of us that means keeping fit,
going to the gym as often as possible.
But that takes time and effort.
# ..whenever I hear that sound
# She smell like money when she walk by
# All heat, no smoke but she on fire... #
Cosmetic surgery is the shortcut to perfection.
In the last two years alone,
more than 100,000 of us have had a nip and tuck.
I'm 26 and half of all people my age
are now considering going under the knife.
But is getting the perfect body a guaranteed route to happiness?
Before I make my decision,
I want to find out a bit more about it.
I'm starting in Swansea,
taking a look at one of the fastest-growing of all procedures -
lip and face fillers.
I've been invited to a ladies night at my local hair salon,
where bubbly and botox are both on the menu.
Fillers and Botox are relatively cheap and easy.
Costing on average 200 quid a shot,
cosmetic procedures are no longer just for the rich and famous.
How does it feel?
For hair salon owner Vicky, trying out the latest cosmetic trends
is one of the perks of her job,
and tonight it's a forehead full of botox.
-How are you feeling after yours?
-Oh, I feel good.
I'm glad I've done it. It was a little bit painful, but it's good.
-I think you should.
-Well, no, my lips.
It's my lips that I want, and obviously I'm torn,
but when see Jess and Louise's I want them done so bad.
-I do. I really do when I look at yours.
-I love mine.
-They look fabulous.
-Best thing I ever did.
I've spent about £1,000 on my lips.
It's just normal now. It's like natural.
-Especially in Swansea, isn't it?
We've all got to have it done now.
We've got things like social media, Instagram,
like, I stalk girls more than I stalk the guys.
I know, and me, I stalk girls.
We tend to look at other girls and say,
"Oh, my gosh, she looks really good."
So, by looking at other girls, I think that's why we do it.
-Yeah, we go, "We like her bum..."
-..or "we like her boobs, we like her lips, her hair."
"I want them!" And now everything is accessible,
as you said, it's more affordable, so we can go out and do it.
I find that we're getting younger
-and younger people coming in for botox.
-I was shocked with the young girls walking in tonight.
-Mad, isn't it?
Like, years ago it used to be, like, over 30s,
now it seems like, you know, it's just the young girls having it.
-So, it's good.
We're trying to prevent the ageing now,
-instead of trying to fix it.
-I know, I know.
-We'll be forever young.
-Forever young, I like it.
-I like it, forever young.
-That's what we want.
-That's the goal.
-Definitely. We ain't growing old, are we?
-No. I'm not.
MUSIC: Forever Young by Jay Z feat. Mr Hudson
# Forever young
# I want to be forever young
# Do you really want to live forever?
# Forever and ever... #
Last night's party has really got me thinking
about what I'd look like with fuller lips.
So I've downloaded this app
that allows you to play around and change your features
to see what you're going to look like after cosmetic surgery,
so I'm going to have a look to see what I look like with the lips.
# So we live a life like a video
# Where the sun is always out
-# And you never get old... #
My face just looks completely different now.
Oh, my God, what have I done to myself?
It's just mad to think that having one procedure
can change your whole image.
Anyone with insecurities playing around on this app,
you know, it's addictive.
I wonder what I'd look like now with a stronger jawline.
'Playing around with your face on an app is one thing,
'but I'm about to meet someone who does it in real life.'
# G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S, yeah... #
25-year-old Jordan James Parke first dabbled
with cosmetic procedures when he was just 17
in a bid to look more like his idol, Kim Kardashian.
Since then, he's made a career out of it,
and he's now got 80,000 followers on Instagram.
Not bad, eh?
-Hello, look who's arrived.
-Nice to see you. Are you OK? Mwah!
-Come on in.
Look at those lips! Oh, my God. HE LAUGHS
Key to his unique look is his trademark pout.
But his obsession with fillers nearly cost him his sight.
OK, so I can tell you've had your lips done,
what else have you had done, then?
So, altogether I've had two nose jobs,
I had a chin implant, I've had neck liposuction,
I've had cheek filler, chin filler, jaw line filler,
I've had nasal fold filler,
a full face of Botox.
I have microdermabrasion, chemical peels...
But I'm having my nose done again in ten days, so... Why?
Just, I want it a bit more like Kim's,
so I'm just going to have it a bit more pinched in,
a bit more chiselled. I just want it smaller.
-I just want a little cute button nose.
Oh, no, it's still big. I hate it.
'As well as surgery,
'make-up artist Jordan uses contouring
'to help achieve his Kim K look.
'He's offered to work his magic on me,
'giving me a full Kardashian makeover.'
So, Jordan, obviously you're taking my face off me now,
and I'm insecure, everyone's insecure,
like, are you an insecure person or...?
Why did you start it all?
The thing is, people always think that I'm going to be insecure,
but I'm actually not.
Like, I'm so confident, like, I'm not insecure whatsoever.
-I love myself, I'm very happy with me.
So, if you're happy with yourself, then, like, why don't you stop?
-Why do you keep having more work done?
-I just love it.
I just love when you get something done,
the feeling you get, you just get such a good feeling.
I just love it.
So, how much have you actually spent, if you don't mind me asking?
Cos obviously, cosmetic surgery and procedures ain't cheap, you know.
Oh, my God, I've probably spent about...
That's a house!
-Well, it is in Wales, anyway.
-I know, but...
I know, but what would you rather -
walk around looking like shit,
or walk around looking good with flawless skin?
'But perfection doesn't just do damage to our wallets
'as Jordan found out.'
So, I used to have, like, huge lips before.
-Yeah, I thought you did.
They went really wrong.
Like, they went so bad they were leaking.
So, it all started, like, I had a spot at the side of my lip
and I was literally just like, "What is that?"
And I literally popped it and filler squirted onto the mirror.
-SHE GASPS Ugh!
And I actually went to LA and saw some doctors and they were like,
"Jordan, you need to stop with the lip filler,
"cos you might lose your lips, you might lose your sight,"
-but there's that many...
Yeah, there's that many things in your lips and things
that are connected to the rest of your face
that you don't even realise.
'Although very rare,
'extreme overuse of lip filler can block blood vessels in the face
'leading to permanent blindness.'
'But thankfully Jordan took the doctors' advice
'and has now toned down his trout pout.'
You know what? Your lips would be amazing just with a tiny bit of filler.
-Just a bit.
-Oh, I don't know now.
I don't want them to leak like yours. HE LAUGHS
Oh, my God, look at your teeth, they're stunning.
-Look how white they are.
-I know. They're not real.
-Veneers, is it?
SHE GASPS AND HE LAUGHS Oh, my God!
Oh, my God! HE LAUGHS
-What have you done?
-They're like clip-on teeth.
-Oh, my God.
What?! Oh, my God! What?
Ah! What are you doing? HE LAUGHS
Come on, let's get a selfie so you can see it
and see what you think.
-Oh, my God, I love it.
-Do you love it?
-You'll have to come down every week now.
-I love Wales, I will.
# Cos your lips are moving Baby, don't you know I'm done. #
# Don't you know, don't you know
# Beautiful, don't you know
# Beautiful people... #
While more and more of us are having lip fillers and botox,
we're signing up for more invasive cosmetic procedures, too.
Topping the surgical wish list is breast augmentation -
the good old-fashioned boob job.
Around 10,000 women in the UK had the procedure last year.
I've been given a rare opportunity to go behind-the-scenes
at Cardiff's Spire Hospital
and see it from the surgeon's point of view.
So, I'm just about to go into theatre now
to watch a boob operation.
Obviously I'm really nervous and excited at the same time.
It's not every day you get to see this.
I've had it done myself, so it's really interesting for me
because, you know, I'm going to be watching from the other side how it's done.
Unbelievably, cosmetic surgery is an unregulated industry.
Many cosmetic doctors operate without proper qualifications and experience.
But no such worries here.
Leading plastic surgeon Dean Boyce has carried out
over 1,000 of these ops.
So today's patient is in very good hands.
WHISPERS: I can't believe that was me one time.
'Dean starts by marking up the incision points on the patient.'
'Then cuts an opening in the breast crease.'
WHISPERS: I've had that done!
Oh, my God, that's the implant.
It's bigger than what I had.
'There are two main types of implant,
'silicone gel or saline,
'and today Dean's using silicone.'
'With such a small incision,
'the implant has to be slowly inserted bit by bit.'
It's really physical.
They look really...
They look really nice and hard
and mine are soft now.
'Once the implants are in,
'the incision is closed and Dean's careful stitching means
'they'll be hardly any scarring left behind.'
'It's taken just an hour-and-a-half
'for the patient to go from approximately an A-cup to a D-cup.
'90 minutes that could change a life.'
Well, that was absolutely amazing.
That hour-and-a-half flew by there.
He's clearly a very skilful surgeon,
but it's not just the surgeon doing the work,
all the nurses, they're all putting that care
into that patient on the bed.
And I tell you one thing now,
she's going to be happy with her new breasts when she wakes up.
The transformation I saw today was incredible,
and the operation has got me thinking about my own breasts
and how the end result wasn't quite what I'd hope for.
I just think, like, you know, unless you really, really want them,
then have a think about it
because with me I've wasted four grand
that could have gone towards a house.
Don't get me wrong, I have my days when I love them,
and then I have my days when I hate them.
Did it give me extra happiness?
No, it didn't give me happiness.
I'm glad I've got a better pair than I had,
but I had nothing wrong with my old ones.
For some of us, the cost of cosmetic procedures in the UK
puts it well out of reach.
So more and more of us are opting to fly abroad
in search of cut-price surgery.
Trouble is, it can sometimes go horribly wrong.
-You must be Charlotte.
-And who's this?
-Cup of tea?
-Oh, yes, please.
Cafe owner Charlotte Hayward found that out the hard way
when she travelled to Thailand for a tummy tuck.
I believe you've got some horror stories to tell me, Charlotte.
I have. Have your cuppa.
We'll sit down and I'll tell you all about it.
Oh, God, I don't think I want to hear this.
We went to Bangkok. We went to a hospital, it was gleaming,
really, really nice, me and my husband and my young daughter.
Everything looked perfect, so we paid the money,
put the deposit down.
Three days later, I arrived at the hospital
and they had a bus waiting for me.
They put me in the bus, told me that the surgeon couldn't do it
in that hospital, but we would go to another hospital,
drove four hours into Bangkok City,
and we were just basically put into a backstreet shop.
It wasn't anything like the first hospital I'd seen before.
It was just, like, in a back alley.
Curtains, a few beds put up.
But I paid the money and I was there,
and I just thought, "Right, just go for it."
-God, it sounds like something out of a horror movie.
It gets ten times worse.
They put a needle in the top of my spine
and I was in and out of consciousness.
Then I sort of came around on the operating bed
and I was thinking, "Oh, right, OK,"
then I realised that they were actually operating on me
-whilst I was awake.
-Oh, my God.
So I was shouting, saying, "I'm awake, I'm awake!"
Obviously, crying, getting upset.
They ended up tying my hands down to the bed,
because I kept trying to get up
and they put a cone, almost like a dog cone,
around my head and just carried on with the operation.
I could see my stomach was put by the side of my head
and the tattoo - that's the only reason I knew,
I had a tattoo on my stomach and as I looked,
I could see the tattoo that was on my stomach
was now by the side of my head.
-Did you think you were going to die on the operating table?
The most scary thing I've ever been through in my entire life.
I genuinely thought I was going to die.
A tummy tuck is one of the most complicated and extensive
cosmetic procedures available,
which usually requires at least one overnight stay in hospital.
But not for Charlotte.
So what was the aftercare like, then? Was there any?
It was non-existent.
Straight after my operation, they put me on a bus,
three-and-a-half-hours' journey back to the hotel.
It was a major operation
and they just literally threw me out of the door
-and just left me to get on with it.
-Oh, my God.
Unsurprisingly, with no aftercare,
Charlotte's wound got infected.
Instead of flying home, she checked herself into a private hospital.
Doctors there discovered
that she'd not even been given a surgical drain,
increasing her risk of blood clots.
Had she boarded the plane back to Wales,
it could have been fatal.
Charlotte faced a further three-week stay in Thailand
and a hefty medical bill.
The infection left behind some heavy scarring,
most of which she's managed to cover with a tattoo.
If I could go back three years ago,
and tell myself not to do it, 100%, it's not worth it,
your life being put at risk just for the way you look, vanity,
it's just 100% not worth it.
Shockingly, Charlotte's story is not an isolated case.
Nearly one in ten of us who've had cosmetic surgery abroad
need help from the NHS when we come home.
# Hot lips
# Hot lips
# Hot lips. #
Sometimes the risks come not from how far we travel,
but how far we'll go in pursuit of the body beautiful.
Former glamour model and TV personality Alicia Douvall
has been dubbed Britain's most nipped and tucked woman.
First going under the knife at 17,
Alicia made headlines with her extreme addiction to surgery.
She's had a staggering 350 procedures
at a cost of a whopping £1.5 million.
-So 350 procedures.
Was there ever a point in that time where you just stopped
and looked in the mirror and thought, "OK, I'm happy now"?
At the time, at the height of my addiction,
-I was having procedures every week.
I was waking up on the hospital bed and planning the next one.
I was never happy with the results, never.
You know, I kept finding surgeons that would do it.
I kept going until I found the surgeon that said yes.
There's a lot of unscrupulous surgeons out there
that will take your money and give you what you want.
So who did you want to look like? Was there anyone in the public eye?
Yeah, I went into a surgeon's with a Barbie doll.
-My thing was I wanted to look like Barbie.
You had the blonde hair...?
I have long, blonde hair, and I have my ribs shaped,
I have my waist like Barbie.
-You had your ribs shaped?
-Yep. I wanted to be like a Barbie doll.
She had a very, very small waist.
So what was the most extreme procedure you've ever had?
I had over 1,000cc implants, so I had, like, a G-cup.
-I had my toes shortened, so...
-You had your toes shortened?
-What do you mean?
So I went and had the bones shaved,
so cut and then shortened.
So I could have perfect feet, so I could wear sandals.
I mean, I had to be on crutches for six weeks.
For me, the most extreme was having loads of implants put in my face,
which destroyed my looks.
Did you care what people thought of you?
When I lost sight of trying to look like Barbie
and then I became quite extreme,
I did care when people would look around at me
and, you know, kind of look at me as a freak show,
but I was addicted.
So what did your friends and family think, then?
Did they not try and stop you?
Yeah, they did, but they knew after a while they couldn't bring it up,
cos I would literally disconnect from people and not talk to them
if they confronted me with my addiction.
So if you could turn back time,
would you have not had anything done?
Oh, my gosh, I'd have loved to never have had surgery.
-Not even boobs, nothing?
-Nothing. I'd love to...
I'd love to have been like, "This is me, proud of me,
"and I make the most of Mother Nature and what she gave me."
Thankfully, Alicia's now recovered from her extreme addiction
after being diagnosed and treated for a condition
called body dysmorphic disorder, or BDD for short.
Sufferers can become obsessed with a flaw in their appearance
that's either really minor or totally imagined.
I've come to meet Dr Rob Willson,
a psychotherapist and chair of the BDD Foundation, to find out more.
So, how severe does it get?
Body dysmorphic disorder can be extremely severe.
It's probably got about the highest rate of suicide
of any psychiatric disorder,
and there are a lot of people that are very disabled,
very housebound, and typically people spend, say,
most of their working day, certainly five, eight hours a day,
worrying, researching cosmetic procedures.
It can be pretty much like a full-time job
and drives a great deal of distress.
So do you find that many sufferers feel
that cosmetic surgery is the answer?
A lot of people with BDD do think that cosmetic procedures
or dermatological procedures are going to be the answer,
cos the hope is that the flaw in their appearance
that they're preoccupied with, that that can be removed.
Unfortunately, we know from the research
that that virtually never works
and that, even if the flaw is removed,
the BDD just refocuses and zeroes into another area
of their appearance which is in some way flawed or not quite right.
So, for some of us,
no amount of cosmetic surgery will ever bring happiness.
But, for others, their physical quirks aren't just all in the mind,
and a simple procedure can have a very real impact.
So today is the day, Sue. How are you feeling?
-I'm excited and nervous.
I've been waiting for this day all my life, since I was 12 years old,
and I can't believe I'm actually going to do
what I should have done years ago.
52-year-old Sue Owens was born with an unusually thin upper lip.
With a family party looming,
she's finally now plucked up the courage to do something about it.
So how have your lips affected you, then?
It makes me feel anxious, because I think,
especially with the world nowadays,
everyone perceives a beautiful person to have lips,
a top lip, if you like, which I haven't got.
Literally, on my 21st birthday,
I don't think there's one person that didn't buy me any present
that didn't say "Froggy"
or have some kind of frog associated with it,
cos that was my nickname, Froggy, cos my lips go like that.
It was quite cruel, really, but I've laughed it off.
-But deep down, was it affecting you?
-Deep down, yes, it has affected me.
I've even not gone out on nights out, cos I've not felt confident.
I've got ready to go out and I've actually not gone,
and I just can't wait to see if it will be what I'm looking for,
the answer that I'm looking for to get the confidence back.
Sue's booked an appointment at her local salon in Sketty
to have lip fillers with nurse Steph Williams.
It's a good opportunity for me to see the procedure first-hand.
So, Sue, I'm just going to start now, OK? We're just going to have...
You might feel a sharp little scratch.
I feel quite sick.
-I'm not even scared of needles,
but that's going through me watching it go in your lip.
It reminds me of when I'm in the dentist.
I actually feel quite shaky watching it.
Oh, is that blood?
It's a tiny little bit, a pinprick of blood.
So, Sue, if you'd like to just sit up for me,
so I can have a little look.
SHE IMITATES DRUMROLL
Let me see.
Do you like them?
Yeah, I've got lips!
They look great.
-You're glowing, you look so happy.
# Would you let me
# See beneath your beautiful
# Would you let me
# See beneath your perfect
# Take it off, now, girl, take it off, now, girl
# I want to see inside
# Would you let me
# See beneath your beautiful
# Tonight... #
We all just want to look our best,
and whether it's done out of vanity,
to feed an addiction,
or just to boost our self-confidence,
cosmetic procedures can change us inside and out,
for better or for worse.
But, for me, having my boobs done,
they didn't make me a happier person,
and I don't think if I had my lips done
that would make me a happier person as well.
I'll never say never, I won't, you know,
and with the Swansea lot, we're all like dominos,
we all copy each other,
but for now, I've found this awesome lip gloss
that plumps my lips right up.
For now, I'll stick to my plump-it-up lip gloss.
Hayley Pearce, tea lady from BBC's The Call Centre, is no stranger to cosmetic surgery. As she proudly shows off her boob job, she is now considering lip fillers. In this revealing and entertaining documentary, Hayley explores the rise in cosmetic procedures, meets some people who have gone to the extreme, some who experienced disaster and some whose life was transformed for the better. Will Hayley plump for lip fillers, or decide her pout is perfect just the way it is?