Beauty Without Fuss

Monday 21 March 2011

Public Beauty

 I don't know about you, but I'm a bit squeamish.  Also, I like to keep my beauty routines strictly between me and the bathroom mirror (for the purposes of this post, my blog doesn't count, mmkay?).  So, when I spotted a booth - and I use the phrase lightly - offering tooth-whitening for the bargain basement price of £135 in my local shopping mall, I was a bit horrified.

Ok, a lot horrified.

A shonky booth made of posters of unattainably white teeth, promising superb results in an hour or less, right between a set of escalators, and the entrance to Tesco for maximum footfall doesn't strike me as the best place in the world to get your teeth seen to.  Now, I'm not saying they were cowboys (I didn't catch the name of the company), but ... what if something went wrong?  

Tooth whitening, whilst it's taking place is not sexy, it's not comfortable, and it can be a little painful - would you want people desperate to get at the Krispy Kreme stand, or going up the escalators looking on whilst you have your mouth clamped open?  Really?  You're so vulnerable in the chair, would you want to be gawped at?

I've noticed that fish pedicures are becoming more commonplace in shopping centres too - please don't get me started on those.  Putting aside my issues with feet for a minute, I can't help thinking that fish pedicures are a bit ... cruel to the fish.  But, why would you want to get your feet done openly in a shopping centre?

Anyhoo, I'm digressing a bit, and possibly being a little hypocritical because I have had beauty treatments in department stores, but things like manicures, and eyebrow threadings only.  Treatments unlikely to need medical attention if things go wrong, in other words.  The reason it costs so much in a dental surgery is that you're paying for professional attention, and follow-up, things you're unlikely to get in a shopping centre.

Am I wrong?  Would you be prepared to undergo the indignity for the chance of prettier teeth?  How far would you go in public to be "beautiful"?

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  1. We've had those teeth whitening stations for years. It doesn't help that the people who perform the "operations" are 18 and 19 year olds either.. I'd much rather go to my dentist. One's precious teeth shouldn't just be handled by anyone! =P

  2. I think the problem is that everyone wants something for nothing, those teeth whitening booths are also in Bluewater and are always packed but you would have to pay me to go in there! People convince themselves it's exactly the same as going to the dentist but of course it isn't.

  3. I wouldn't want it - I prefer things like that in private!

  4. It takes the p*ss a bit out of actual, qualified dental professionals who have to jump through all sorts of government regulations and health and safety stipulations. The way I see it, anything which resembles a medical procedure e.g. involves strong chemicals, needles, anything which breaks the skin etc should be carried out in a controlled, ideally private, environment. From what I've seen of the toothy boothes in my local mall you're totally at the mercy of coughs, sneezes, pigeons and other germy things floating around in the area. I wouldn't want to donate blood or get a filling replaced in those sort of conditions so why would I have a similar procedure in that environment just for beauty rather than medical reasons?

  5. Call me old and stuffy but I prefer grooming to take place in a private space. Nobody needs to see your teeth/body hair/feet etc. And I dunno, shouldn't tooth whitening be done by a dentist? I mean, I confess I'm confused by dental care in the UK and still fly home to my dentist twice a year, but surely there's some sort of regulation regarding whitening and stuff?

    Btw it's not just shopping centres...a beauty "salon" near my house, located right next to a Chinese take away and a chippy, has a giant gawping window (yeah it's a new architectural term:P) and every time I walk by I see someone getting waxed or their face getting zapped or plucked. I really don't know why customers put up with it.

  6. We spotted something like this in the shopping centre in Reading. Again next to escalators for maximum exposure. I'm actually struggling to remember whether it was offering teeth whitening or botox. Both equally horrific ideas in such an open environmemt.

    I agree with Sarah, I believe these things pop up as everyone wants something for nothing. I think it's the same reason that things are starting to go wrong with some straightening treatments. Corners are cut in order to offer bargains and people's health is no longer top of the agenda. It's worrying stuff.

  7. I totally agree with you about beauty appointments being a private affair. I want to get my teeth whitened before I get married but I'm doing a bit research first and I certainly wouldn't get it done in the mall cuz like you said what happens if it goes wrong?

    Everytime I walk past the fish pedicure place in the Vic Centre Nottingham it makes me shudder. People sat there on cheap sofas with their feet dangling in yellowish looking water. No thanks!

  8. Having had my teeth whitened a couple of times before, I can safely say that I would rather chew off my own arm than have it done again in public - the thought of anyone seeing me with those ridiculous gum protectors in my mouth (and god forbid, finding it so hilarious that they took a photo or something) fills me with horror.

    It's just not a service that should ever be done in those surroundings - it's actually quite daunting and you feel vulnerable not being able to speak. Just horrendous all round - and that's leaving aside all the issues regarding professionalism and safety. Yuck.

  9. Those teeth whitening booths seem to be popping up everywhere and I would never consider getting my teeth whitened there!

    I'm doubtful about how qualified the staff are and also how effective the procedure is, plus they're not exactly cheap. I'd much rather pay more and get it done properly x

  10. I don't even like The Hubs to see me at home, when I'm doing the Goddess Beauty Ritual, which we all know, usually isn't that beautiful!
    The only thing I ever did even remotely close would be a haircut in one of the malls salons.


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