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Teens Watching Reality TV Inclined Towards Cosmetic Surgery?

Posted Aug 04 2010 7:30am

Teen watchers of reality shows that focus on surgery and appearance are more likely to go under the knife themselves, a psychologist has found.

Charlotte Markey, an associate professor of psychology at Rutgers University-Camden surveyed 200 young men and women and found that female viewers of reality shows, such as MTV’s I Want a Famous Face, E’s Dr. 90210 and Oxygen’s Addicted to Beauty were more inclined to consider cosmetic procedures than those who didn’t tune in, according to research published in the academic journal Body Image.


Reality television celebrates extremes, so while it is not alarming to me that these viewers might be inclined towards plastic surgery, what they might consider as surgical goals might be concerning.

The Holy Grail of successful plastic surgery is and has always been the development of realistic expectations. Are plastic surgery themed-reality show viewers realistic? They likely vary.

The assessment of any potential cosmetic surgery patient requires (in my opinion) the expertise of a properly educated plastic surgeon willing to say “No” when the requested operation seems high risk. In our current economic climate, these are becoming more rare.

When plastic surgeons become Burger King “Have it your way” gag it and bag it grill cooks, we all suffer.

Best Regards,

John Di Saia MD

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