Over in the depths of Old Street Tube station, for just one week, is Timeless, a brilliant pop-up store which discusses female fertility, specifically egg freezing, via the medium of a beauty and fragrance brand. Anyone who has yet to have children, or who has daughters who might have children should go, because the Freeze-Your-Eggs discussion is yet another issue that pressurises women to have radical, medical intervention, rather than have society change its ways.
Looking a little like a Space NK store, the issues around career, financial stability and pregnancy are addressed via 20 wittily named fragrances (Mr Right, Not Mr Ready is my fav) in the Eau So Pressured collection. A beauty range features the three step Stimulate, Extract and Freeze creams, they are all totally fictional products, but are ‘sold’ with facts that are accurate and not a little scary.
Freezing your eggs has seen a 6 fold plus increase in the last few years, as more medical companies put together packages to offer women a ‘cure’ for delaying having children without knowing if they will find the right man at the right time, or have fertility issues due to being older.
The space has been designed by Sarah Douglas and Amanda Gore from Liminal Space, who state “Social egg freezing is a relatively new offer but one that could soon become as revolutionary to women’s life choices as the Pill. With companies such as Apple and Facebook including it as part of benefits packages, and some clinics promising egg freezing as an ‘insurance policy’, there is increasing pressure on women to consider freezing their eggs without fully considering the potential impact on the workplace, their relationships and wider society.”
Sponsored by The Wellcome Trust and London School of Economics, the most hot-off-the-press research is cleverly displayed via serums and creams that would look very at home on your bathroom shelf, such as the Timeless Serum, above, which demonstrates how your egg production both slows and deteriorates with age, and the Timeless Elixir Miracle Pearls, which highlight how only 6.5% of any harvested eggs are likely to result in a live birth.
The process of egg freezing is similar to IVF regarding what you have to put your body through, it’s grim. Not to mention expensive, it costs around £6,000 per session, and you probably need two goes at it.
Amanda and Sarah want to get everyone talking about the affect the increasing acceptance of chemical intervention is having on women and society. Is it right to blunder blindly into making women go through this, or should we look to changing society and the work place’s attitudes towards pregnancy. You can probably guess which side we’re on…Of course it might suit some women, and be genuinely useful to others, but do we really want this kind of pressure on our daughters as a matter of general acceptance? We need a radical rethink on the working environment – set up mostly to suit the male worker- to make everyone’s life less pressured over pregnancy.
Although maybe our daughters feel differently about it. Here’s some of the research from the project.
As part of the project The Liminal Space worked with ICM to poll more than 1,000 women from across England, Scotland and Wales. The poll revealed that women aged 18-24 are far more comfortable considering egg freezing as a way to improve career progression and control their lives than women of older ages. (84% of women aged 18-24 agreed that improving career options was a good reason for women to freeze their eggs, with 59% believing women should be encouraged to use egg freezing as a way to give them more reproductive autonomy).
The poll also showed that this younger generation of women are less concerned by the £10k price tag it can carry, and more open to the procedure being offered as part of a corporate benefits package – showing radically changing perceptions to egg freezing among young women. (20% of 18-24 female cohort would consider egg freezing at a cost of £10K).
For further information, visit the fabulous little pop up, where there are talks all week, all open to the public, on aspects of fertility and attitudes towards it within society. And the website with more research information is here. The shop is open until the 6th March, it should be open for longer, in my view, this is an important discussion.
It’s a real shame the fragrances -which smell delicious- aren’t for sale, as I think there are many women who could find a good home for L’Eau Vert Qualified and Promotion or Procreation. And Mum’s The Word would be a great seller over Mother’s Day, I’m sure.