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Oh my goodness.
On discovering the new American show on television, aptly named 'Bridalplasty' I thought that it was probably a hoax, or possibly a not-so-subtle satirical show designed to comment on the state of the American woman's terrible self-image today.
Unfortunately I was wrong. The show revolves around the concept of a competition in which about-to-be brides compete for the perfect wedding day (nothing terribly wrong so far), and an all over cosmetic surgery to go with it. Oh dear. Every week, a bride wins the challenge and is given one of the cosmetic surgeries from her 'wish list', and one bride is sent home to the line "you will still have your wedding. It just won't be perfect'. The host, a botoxed, boob-jobbed and personality deficient woman, guides the brides through the weeks, in which they all live in a house with a built in 'recovery room' for post-surgery brides to stay in.
What kind of message is this show sending out to the young women of the western world? Don't get me wrong, I have watched the show with friends and found it very entertaining, however there are many young girls out there watching this show and (please no!) actually absorbing its message of the perfect bride, and indeed the perfect woman.
Many of the women on the show are already slim and attractive, but still put themselves and their bodies through the trauma of surgery to achieve 'perfection', with the winning bride being given everything from liposuction, facial change and a boob-job. One of the main problems with the show is the portrayal of the surgeries. The women are sent straight from a winning challenge to the hospital, where they are operated on, in a manner that appears as easy and straightforward as a trip to the supermarket, and they emerge the other side with a new face/body. None of the risk factors or mental changes needed to overcome a surgery like the ones being undertaken are portrayed in the show, only the end result.
The idea that to achieve perfection, a woman must undergo not just one, but multiple plastic surgeries, is an insane message to be sending out to the young woman of today, as if the size zero models on the catwalks and the photoshopped images in the magazines weren't demoralising enough, this show takes the message another step further in the wrong direction.
Television shows such as this one may seem completely harmless and mere entertainment, the women participating in them the mad few, but I fear this is no longer the case. Women are pushing themselves further than ever before to achieve an unrealistic perfection in which any deviation from the strict notion of perfection is unacceptable.
As anorexia levels rise, it is the impressionable young girls and teenagers who are the unlucky individuals suffering from the message put out by mainstream television channels: that the never ending pursuit of perfection is not only acceptable, but admirable.
Until the next time,
A horrified Hannah