Competing for Perfection

Joann Wolwowicz

This winter, E! welcomes a new reality show to its line-up. Part Bridezillas and Part Extreme Makeover, this new show is a new show that really says a lot about our TV programs and their moral today. Bridalplasty is a new show that will put brides-to-be in a head-to-head competition against each other to compete for the ultimate prize. No ladies and gentle men, it’s not the type of prize you would expect from similar television shows. Contestants will be competing for various procedures such as nose jobs, implants, lipo, and the ultimate prize: a celebrity-worthy dream wedding. The show will bring together women who are seeking complete image transformations before their big day.

Bridalplasty will be the first American reality show that will have contestants compete for plastic surgery. As if TV shows about people having plastic surgery weren’t enough. Is it actually necessary to make it a prize? This show is really pushing the limits of medical ethics. After looking it up, I found that the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ code of ethics states that they are technically prohibited from giving procedures away as a prize for a contest, because it undermines the doctor-patient relationship. Why would anyone want the entire world to know that type of information about themselves? Why don’t they just put their age and weight on a t-shirt and wear it the entire show, since they seem to have no problem about sharing other types of information.

The show itself doesn’t send out a very positive message to future generations. Doctors and psychologists worry that the circumstances under which the show provides these makeovers raise troubling social, ethical, and medical issues. Competing in wedding-themed challenges such as writing vows and planning honeymoons, each week one “lucky” bride will get one piece of her dream body and will go under the knife for one of the surgeries off her “wish list,’’ performed by celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Terry Dubrow. The “last bride standing” will win the remaining procedures on her list and the dream wedding she has planned along the whole way.

The worst part about all of this is that the winner will not reveal her new face and physique to her husband-to-be until they are at the altar. Shouldn’t the fiancé love his wife already and the way she looks before they get married? Why should she change anything, if she is already loved for who she is? And lastly, what happens if the woman who shows up at the altar is a completely different woman, who the husband does not recognize? Who thought that this was a good idea?

The message that Bridalplasty sends to young girls and women is that if you’re not beautiful enough on your wedding day, you have to receive plastic surgery from head to toe to fix that problem. This plays into the fact that women want to look their best on their wedding day. It is part of a societal sickness about needing to achieve perfection; as if cosmetic surgery actually achieves that. This world already is full of bad body image and low self-esteem. This show will only fuel the fire that is spreading quickly through all generations about body perfection and will take first place in the book of worst shows to ever be allowed to be aired on TV.