Research finds that watching plastic surgery on TV makes people want to go for nips and tucks
Plastic surgery is a hot topic for reality TV shows. Millions tune in each week for shows like Doctor 90210, and watch people get nose jobs, face lifts or tummy tucks. A new study from Rutgers University examines how these shows influence people’s perceptions of plastic surgery.
Rutgers-Camden psychologist Professor Charlotte Markey asked 200 participants around the age of 20 to watch a home make-over show or a reality show about plastic surgery, and then evaluated their attitudes toward plastic surgery afterwards.
She says both men and women who watched the plastic surgery show were much more likely to be interested in these types of procedures afterwards – and had favorable impressions of the outcomes.
Markey says many people equate changing their appearance – like getting a nose job – with being happier- even though there is no evidence connecting the two.
Markey: You might like your nose a little bit more – you might not, for that matter, also, but it’s not a guarantee that you will be a happier person, there is no data to suggest that that’s really the likely outcome.
Markey says young people are more vulnerable to messages connecting physical appearance and happiness. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons says cosmetic surgery procedures in the U.S. are up 69 percent since 2000.