“Roll up Roll up! Botox to Boob Jobs Sarah Burge makes plastic surgery available to everyone. What’s on your shopping list?”
Last week we were dumbfounded by the announcement of “My Big Fat Plastic Surgery Prize Draw” – a cosmetic surgery lottery held in a London nightclub and championed by the “human Barbie”, Sarah Burge, and U’Luvka – a Polish vodka company. This may sound like the start of a bad joke (which is exactly what we thought it was at first!) but it’s true and will be taking place on Friday 24th June.
Transpire Surgery. who’s head office is in Birmingham, and Anthony Burger Management will be teaming up to bring us this, shall we say unique, event mixing “high class partying with attractive prizes from the world of plastic surgery.” For the entry price of £25 party-goers can party with top London DJs, drink the night away and then win up to £4,000 of Cosmetic Surgery. The night also promises a bizarre and varied range of runner up prizes including Botox, Fillers, Semi-permanent make-up, Teeth Whitening, pole dancing lessons and U’Luvka Vodka.
Again just to reiterate this is not a hoax... guests really do have the opportunity to win Botox or pole dancing lessons!!
Twitter quote from BAAPS
Amongst the conditions of entry is that you must be around to personally accept the prize, be available for the media photo shoot and free to make press statements. The inaugural night of what is to become a monthly event is being marketed as the “new theme plastic surgery and party concept is the way forward.”
Sarah “human Barbie” Burge, who’s in the spotlight for having the most cosmetic procedures in the world and spending over £500, 000 in the process, has been condemned for trivializing cosmetic surgery. Sarah, who is described on her own website as “always armed with a syringe of filler in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other” and who’s most recent foray into the tabloids revolved around her £6,000 breast augmentation gift to her daughter for her 7th birthday, is at the forefront of the event and has been promoting it through various outlets including eBay’s classified community website Gumtree. The event will furthermore feature on Sarah’s documentary as well as being covered by OK! Magazine and Living TV.
My Big Fat Surgery Prize advocate and promoter Sarah says: “It’s going to be scandalous” and she wasn’t wrong. The controversial event has stirred a whole host of negative press attention with BAAPS labeling the event “deluded” and “deprived”.
This latest scandal comes in the midst of a call for regulation of the industry by governing bodies. The lack of Cosmetic regulation has been gaining attention with the recent call for restrictions on who can administer Cosmetic Injectables and fillers. Treatments You Can Trust petitioned the Advertising Standards Authority to clampdown on “phoney” titles used by some within the industry which mislead the consumer to believing the person has more experience than they actually do. More recently BAAPS have criticized websites such as Groupon who are marketing serious medical procedures as mere commodities with tactics such as “money off” and “one day only offer” in a high pressure selling tactic.
This belittling of the industry, blatant flaunting of the Code of Ethics and lax enforcement by those within the industry, has culminated in BAAPS’ plea for regulation to limit the exposure of these unscrupulous tactics to the public. In a statement issued last week BAAPS announced:
“Government ‘deluded’ to believe in self-regulation –call for ban on surgery lotteries“
According to consultant plastic surgeon and President of the BAAPS Fazel Fatah;
“We are now seeing a new level of insanity and depravity in the way certain cosmetic surgery providers market and promote their services: life-changing, serious surgical procedures being raffled in an alcohol-fuelled evening extravaganza. The Government is deluded if they think that the commercial sector will exercise self regulation and abide by any voluntary code of conduct of advertising and promotion of surgical procedures to trusting patients. Patients who seek cosmetic surgery are among the most vulnerable group of patients in society and they need to be protected from the greed of commercial advocates. I call upon the Government to ban all advertising of cosmetic surgery and prohibit inducements and offers of any kind of surgery as a lottery prize. I also call on the Care Quality Commission to review licensing of such facilities who are clearly abusing the trust of their patients by trivialising serious medical treatments that include life changing, major invasive surgery. The General Medical Council should step in to protect patients and make it clear that they will review the license of any surgeon who becomes party to this abuse of trust by accepting to operate on patients who win such prizes or recruited with the inducement of cut price surgery or limited offers.”
According to Adam Searle, former President of the BAAPS;
“The offer of a cosmetic surgery procedure as a prize is an awful manifestation of the trivialisation of medical care in general and aesthetic surgery in particular. Any patient making irreversible decisions in circumstances of hype, excitement and emotion, are putting themselves at very great risk.”
Beryl Atkins, director of Transpire Surgery, defended the event and said the winner would need to pass a strict screening process before undergoing any surgery.
'The surgery will not take place until the person has a full consultation direct with the surgeon,' she said. 'They will also not be put forward unless they pass pre-anaesthetic screening to say they are fit and healthy for the surgery.' Ms Atkins said the company would not be chasing the winner to come in for surgery, and they were free to decide against any procedure. 'It will be up to that person to contact us,' she added. 'This is not something we are doing on a whim.'
This latest sensationalised attempt to grab those few precious minutes in the media spotlight is becoming quite the phenomenon. I hope these outlandish displays of sensationalism will lead to the implementation and enforcement of stricter regulation by governing bodies.
The promotional material for this bizarre event asks “what are you waiting for!!!!” I’m going to assume this is rhetorical......
Update: Lesley Towle, 31, is said to have whooped for joy as she won the £4,000 draw. The brunette from Cambridgeshire leapt on to the stage to collect her prize and told the cheering crowd she was going to have a boob job. Clutching a bottle of bubbly, she crowed: “I just can’t believe it – I’m overwhelmed.”
An 18-year-old boy in the crowd said: “She’s so lucky. “I’d have had my ears done or maybe more Botox – I’ve already had it done once. “In fact scrap that, I want everything done. Everything.”
As the drinks flowed a team of girls with clipboards urged people to sign up for the prize draw and asked people what sort of surgery they’d like. A 21-year-old blonde told them: “I’d have liposuction.” Another girl pointed to non-existent lines on her forehead and said: “Definitely Botox.”
A 22- year-old Essex man won the runner-up prize of a full-face Botox treatment, which he offered it to his girlfriend. But when Sarah asked her how she felt about it, she said: “A little offended, actually” – and was briskly escourted off the stage.