As an erstwhile economist (in the 1980s BC, ‘before computers’ so no internet, up-to-the-minute gripping stories down the wire or in twitter stream which I now am coming to rely on), I groaned this morning as one of my old gurus, Anatole Kaletsky of The Times pronounced that a slide into recession is a near-certainty. On a day when unemployment figures climbed and inflation was expected to rise further according to the Governor of the Bank of England, I was staring at this charity’s budget for the next year from April – and as ever, a great deal of guess work is required.
Can we be optimistic?
“Well, on the one hand… and on the other”, I can hear the economist (in me) going… But I have to make some decisions, for example about the likely success and fund-ability of our Face Equality campaign!
On the one hand, the public debate about cosmetic surgery and air-brushing have never been louder, both being vilified in the press over the weekend as a result of the Channel 4 series, Beauty and the Beast: the Ugly Face of Prejudice – on again tonight at 8pm or available for replay for a month via the Channel 4 website – see The Sunday Telegraph (http://tinyurl.com/4lk4s29) but also because of the ghastly death of the woman having buttock surgery and the run-up to London Fashion Week.
Will this rising clamour make it easier for us to gain funding for the continued roll-out of our Face Equality campaign? I think it may do…
But, on the other hand, cosmetic surgery, freely entered into with fully-informed consent (including taking in the significant risk that every surgery carries) is perfectly acceptable and might be on the rise as a recession looms as people try to sustain their looks in what they perceive, rightly, will be an increasingly competitive labour market. Looks do count, especially in the first few minutes of any meeting – but employers are not fooled surely any more? It’s competence to do the job that counts far more – right? I fear not.
Air-brushing too could well be on the rise as marketing teams try even harder to sell the beauty of their products, their beaches and hotels, their cosmetics as recessionary pressures impinge on consumer spending…
Maybe we should seek funding from the companies that might do well from recession – but would they really want to support a charity at times critical of their exploits?
The jury’s out but will be called back at the end of the month. Any advice, please?!