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As a plastic surgery writer, I often wonder when the extremes women are willing to go to “perfect” their bodies will begin to wane. And when the media’s fascination with the topic will start to level off.
Apparently we haven’t hit rock bottom yet. But maybe we're about to.
According to the online versions of The New York Daily News, The Hollywood Reporter and other websites, last week the E! network announced a new “reality” show for this fall called Bridalplasty, in which ten brides-to-be will live in a mansion and compete in wedding-related activities. Each week, one of the women will be voted off. The ten contestants will risk, as the show’s description puts it, walking “away with nothing and [losing] their chance to be the perfect bride.”
I know I have said it before, but let me say it again. It does not matter at all that plastic surgery may be performed most often for cosmetic purposes. It’s still surgery and deserves the same rigorous decision making process as any other elective procedure. Like donating one of your kidneys to someone in need, for example, or choosing joint replacement.
Plastic surgery is not the appropriate award for a contest, such as the one E! is planning. It doesn’t make a good gift for your high school graduate, and it’s not something to raffle off to raise funds for an election campaign. (One politician in Venezuela actually did that this year, in case you missed it.)
Once in a blue moon, something goes dreadfully wrong during plastic surgery. The ultimate risk is, actually, death. Admittedly this outcome is rare, especially when the patient is in the hands of a board certified plastic surgeon. But it can happen, due to an adverse reaction to anesthesia, blood clot or other unforeseen circumstance. When Bridalplasty dangles plastic surgery as the ultimate prize, it promotes the notion that plastic surgery is highly desirable and gives some brides that don’t have surgery the feeling of being second rate. All this while casting aside the need for a decision making process and sweeping risks under the carpet. It’s irresponsible.