Plastic surgery has become a common topic of conversation in my circle of friends. With some already having gone under the knife for nose jobs or breast augmentation, it’s no wonder that changing our bodies is becoming a less taboo topic. Helping this process along is the commonality of reality television shows broadcasting plastic surgery like it’s just another day at Disneyland.
Extreme Makeover premiered in 2002 and is one of the first shows that gave individuals a makeover via plastic surgery. From liposuction to dental work, they did it all to cosmetically enhance the “lucky” chosen one. We can thank Extreme Makeover for paving the way for other shows such as Bridalplasty and The Swan where women are now competing to receive the procedures they want. It showcases plastic surgery as the answer to all our insecurities. If you don’t like it, fix it. Is this really the message we want to be sending our children?
In a recent study by Nabi (2009), she found that young people who watch reality makeover shows and relate to the characters may be more likely to partake in plastic surgery. Some young girls are being so impacted by these shows they begin to feel positively towards getting a procedure done. While we might just look at this as a form of entertainment it is effecting our youth and their body satisfaction.
With their daunting insecurities, we watch the contestants deal with these by getting a quick fix with a nip and a tuck. While some might claim other reasons for undergoing a variety of procedures the underlying tone in all of these shows is that women are so insecure and unsatisfied with their bodies that they have no other choice but to fix it via surgery. Unfortunately, this train of thought is being passed on to the youth of today where a boob job is a common high school graduation present.
Nabi, R. L. (2009). Cosmetic Surgery Makeover Programs and Intentions to UndergoCosmetic Enhancements: A Consideration of Three Models of Media Effects. Human Communication Research, 35(1), 1.