Studies reveal that popular plastic-surgery themed shows on Reality TV have influenced a Surge in Demand for Cosmetic Surgery Procedures in recent years.
Most people, whether flamboyant by nature or modest, nurtures a deep desire to look and feel beautiful and attractive. When we look into the mirror every night, we may secretly wish away all the little imperfections of our face, body, skin and hair. This desire to look better and younger is inherent and universal.
However, how many people would actually go under the knife to achieve this desired state of beauty and perfection? Five years ago, an answer in the affirmative would have been barely audible but today a very high percent of people would be already contemplating and saving for some cosmetic surgical procedure in the near future. Some would have already got their eye brow tweaked or reshaped their nose and some others may be waiting for their turn in the lobby of a plastic surgeon’s clinic!
Surge in Demand for Cosmetic Surgery
What has caused this phenomenal growth in the demand for cosmetic procedures? first is of course, the tremendous medical advancement in recent years. the number of services on offer have increased manifold and today patients can choose from a hybrid basket of breast implants, breast augmentation, liposuction, dental implants, lasik, weight loss treatments, rhinoplasty and Botox. Plastic surgery is available for every single part of the face including the eyebrow, chin, lips, nose along with the ubiquitous and popular face lift. Carbon dioxide injections can also be used to supposedly reverse the natural process of ageing and smoothen wrinkles.
Research and medical advancement has also led to more economical and affordable rates for cosmetic surgery procedures which is in turn pumping up the demand for such services. Medical advancement has also reportedly made procedures simpler, less painful and less time-consuming than ever before.
How Reality TV Influences Cosmetic Surgery Decision-making?
Evidently, medical advancement and increased affordability are not the only reasons for increased demand of cosmetic surgical procedures. Reports have suggested that 4 out of 5 of the first time patients who visited a plastic surgery clinic for consultation or surgery, were high-intensity viewers of Reality TV shows on cosmetic surgery.
On probing further, the patients confessed to have gained knowledge about cosmetic surgery services and procedures from Reality TV Programs. They also revealed that their decision to go under the knife was largely influenced by success stories featured under programs of the likes of Extreme Makeover and Doctor 90210.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons in a report published in the ASPS journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (Plasticsurgery.org) concluded that plastic surgery reality television played a significant role in cosmetic surgery patient perceptions and decision making. clearly Reality TV is influencing the surge in demand for cosmetic surgery.
The reason for this deep and pervasive impact has been the format of Reality TV programs as a whole which appeal to the sentiments of viewers by showing the transformation of ordinary people living ordinary lives. the viewers feel an immediate connect with the protagonists and the often heart-wrenching stories strike the right chord with many who see themselves in the same boat.
Programs such as Extreme Makeover, Doctor 90210, the Swan and I Want a Famous Face specifically target those who are low on self-esteem or those who are going through a rough patch in their lives. These Reality TV shows feature success stories of persons who are projected as social out casts before the procedure and suddenly re-discover themselves in a socially desirable avatar. Cosmetic makeovers are exhibited to have the power to fetch instant popularity for these brave persons in schools, colleges, offices and social circles.
Needless to say, plastic surgery themed Reality TV Programs have led to an increased social acceptability for cosmetic surgery which has now become as commonplace as a hair perm or a manicure. What was once considered a social stigma is now a status symbol glorified by Reality TV and perfect celebrity faces and bodies holding testimony to the miracle of cosmetic surgery! Cosmetic surgeons themselves cashing in on the trend offer not just a face-lift or a nose-job but also the option of choosing a celebrity face to look like!
Reality TV shows Demystify Science of Cosmetic Surgery
To give these Reality TV programs some credit, they have definitely served to demystify the science of cosmetic surgery to the layman. Information about available cosmetic surgery services, costs and procedures involved, terminology used has become available at every reality TV channel. Shows like the Swan and Extreme Makeover make cosmetic or plastic surgery seem less daunting and more accessible than ever before.
However, it is an open fact that Reality TV programs often show only half the truth in order to tip the TRP’s in their favor. Hence in Cosmetic-surgery themed Reality TV shows, the emphasis is on the personal aspirations and tribulations of the patients rather than on the effects and side effects of surgical procedures. Program formats glorify and highlight the aspects of cosmetic surgery which appeal to the viewers but the gory details, the uncomfortable facts of surgery rooms are tastefully omitted or best made a passing reference at.
Surgeons, specialists and critics of this form of media have often blamed Reality TV for trivializing a serious subject which involves medical procedures and the high expertise of skilled professionals. Surgeons also warn against this trend of a make-believe world of unhealthy expectations where patients walk into a cosmetic surgery clinic demanding services which will give them instant results with not an iota of consideration for the risks and repercussions involved.
Unhealthy or not, the trend of undergoing surgical procedures for cosmetic enhancements is here to stay and so are the Reality TV shows going by their current popularity. However, it is up to us discerning, intelligent individuals to draw the line between how much importance we want to give to information sourced from Reality Television shows which are primarily entertainers. It is up to us to allow Reality TV shows to influence growth in demand for Cosmetic surgery in the future or to let such growth be a factor of medical necessity!
Reality TV Influences Surge in Demand for Cosmetic Surgery!