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E! Program Irresponsibly Promotes Plastic Surgery

Jerome Campbell |
November 15, 2010 | 9:13 p.m. PST


Courtesy of Creative Commons
Courtesy of Creative Commons
For women their wedding day is the most memorable day of their lives. It's when a woman preens herself to perfection for the walk down the aisle.

E!, the giant entertainment broadcasting group, would have women believe they could use a little “extra touch up” on their wedding day.

E! is coming out with a new reality show called Bridalplasty on Nov. 28.

12 lucky brides-to-be will compete each week in wedding related challenges.

The winner of each task is awarded a desired form of cosmetic surgery from her “wish list.”

At the end of each week, the women of the house select one unfortunate lady to be sent home until one bride is left. The remaining bride will then receive all the cosmetic surgery she desires as well as a celebrity wedding, where her new appearance will be revealed for the first time to her husband at the altar. 

The bulk of commentary pieces have ranted about the wrongness of the program and how it demoralizes women.

However, I can recall a time when I wouldn’t have opposed such a show, provided it is approached correctly. Some readers may recall a show called The Swan where women underwent a series of surgeries, workouts and counseling to become the woman that they dreamed to be. They underwent a process which transformed them both emotionally and physically into more attractive people.

As a kid, I really didn’t see much wrong with this. In fact, I thought it was a positive thing for a team of people to transform a person into what that they dreamed to look like.

Not to my surprise, E! plays off of that type of thinking to attract viewers.  

"Who doesn't want to look their best on their wedding day?" said Jason Sarlanis, vice president of original programming and series development for E!. "Plastic surgery is a taboo topic, and a lot of people support it, and a lot of people consider it a guilty pleasure, and a lot of people are against it."

The available trailers for the program emphasize the procedures as “full body transformations” which culminate with a celebrity style wedding, which are big catch words to make viewers feel as though this show is every lady’s dream.

Nevertheless, I still have my fair share of issues with the show.

Shanna Moakler, ex-beauty pageant queen and Playboy bunny, will be the host of the show as well as guiding the brides to make “good” decisions.

The allure of getting essentially free plastic surgery while living in an atmosphere that promotes reconstructive procedures could push some of the contestants to pursue more cosmetic procedures than they initially wanted. 

While it would be nice to assume that viewers will reject this show for its demeaning attitude toward women, Bridalplasty will probably be a hit.

Let’s face it. People will love the scandalous behavior of the brides inside the house as well as feel good about themselves by watching these women go through multiple procedures to become the “ideal bride.”

The only good that can come from watching this show are the discussions that ensue about plastic surgery.

By watching the women’s bodies change over the course of the show, people will talk about what they like and hate about these transformations. Hopefully, viewers will make the decision that beauty is more than skin deep.

Reach reporter Jerome Campbell here.



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