There's so much wrong in the mainstream media's reaction to the rise in veganism, but this month's award for vicious, malicious and downright ridiculous has to go to The Evening Standard for “That Vegan Face Article”.
Freelance lifestyle writer Phoebe Luckhurst has penned such articles as Meet London's New Generation of Conservative MPs and What your Facebook Profile Picture Actually Says About You. She could have told the features editor to fuck right off, but instead she put her name to what will elicit a guaranteed belly laugh from future generations – That Vegan Face Article.
“Do you have vegan face?” the headline asks, “How to avoid a lacklustre complexion resulting from protein absence.”
Vegans, Phoebe says, are often dismissed as “faddy, neurotic or picky... weak, anaemic — literally and figuratively — and joyless”.
And if that's not enough, those people crankish enough to omit slaughterhouse produce from the dining table now face another barrier to functioning in a normal world – vegan face. “Simply, vegan face is a name for a slack, wasted look that is caused by an absence of protein in your diet,” reports Cambridge graduate Phoebe. “The skin is dry, sallow and flaky. Protein literally props up the face: it makes it look plump (in a good way) and fresh-faced and wakeful.”
As the jets of steam coming out of their ears give outraged thinking people a free facial, Phoebe assures us the vegan face is: “Rooted in science: dermatologists report that the rise of veganism is causing an according rise in what they are calling 'vegan face'.”
Science? Experts? Who?
Step forward Inge Theron, founder of Face Gym. “We noticed a lack of elasticity,” she observes, which the company claims to have cured with a specially-designed facial treatment. This involves selling you supplements (£610.00 a box on the company's website) and having a go on a massage contraption, a laser contraption and a radio frequency contraption. The company will also flog you a face oil, rather than the traditional non-vegan snake oil, which at one time was sold to ill-educated and gullible people in the wild west. And the Face Gym will proffer any advice on diet, supplements and nutrition you didn't already know or got for free by reading or asking other people.
Talking of getting stuff for free, one-time beauty writer Inge seems quite adept at landing herself free write-ups in the papers – the Daily Mail gave her a similar acreage when she launched her Chelsea-based company in 2014.
“The effects of veganism are reversible,” Inge reassures, “if you fuel your body with rich, plant-based protein, fermented plant and pre- and pro-skin biotics and look at collagen supplements.”
The detrimental effects of capitalism can also be reversed. Through a good balanced diet, an enquiring mind and supplementary self-education.
They smear food on each other's faces, rather than eating it
Face Gym's advice to separate you from your money is supported by Chelsea facialist Nataliya Robinson, whose treatment Phoebe also recommends. I'm guessing she got a free trip there to try Nataliya's “vegan peel” method (advertised cost on Nataliya's website: £160.00), which sounds like she wiped a smoothie of blueberry, orange and lemon over her mush, before wiping it all off again. Hasn't put Phoebe off. But be warned, The Vegan Facial is just one corner of Nataliya's omnivorous palette – her treatments also include smearing honey on your face (£150.00) or caviar (£300,00). Not vegan.
What do vegans eat instead of protein?
If you're scared you might not be eating any protein at all, Phoebe recommends you “try the holy trinity of tofu, quinoa, beans” and improve your looks with “strong exfoliaters to slough off all the dry skin cells”.
Inge adds her two penn'orth: try eating avocado, nuts, lentils and split peas. Hey, why not smear them on your face and wipe them off again! What harm can that do to a moneyed-and-slightly-neurotic West London resident? Thanks! My face feels as light as my wallet.
The article declined to comment on the effect of protein/fat-rich meat and dairy diets have on the complexion. We can only assume burgers, cheese, milkshakes and sausage rolls make skin something akin to finely-crafted porcelain.
So remember vegans, eat stuff like the stuff you probably eat already .... or your face will look like a bag of shite.