Those who Watch Makeover Shows More Interested in Cosmetic Surgery

Women smilingAccording to an article published in the journal Body Image, survey participants who reported favorable impressions of reality television shows featuring cosmetic surgery were more likely to indicate interest in pursuing surgery.

Charlotte Markey, of Rutgers–Camden, and Patrick Markey, of Villanova University, did two studies to “examine the influence of media messages about cosmetic surgery on youths’ interest in altering their own physical appearance,” according to the article’s abstract.

The first study was a survey of 170 teens (average age 19.77, 59% female) about their impression of reality shows that feature cosmetic surgery makeovers and their own interest in cosmetic surgery.

Those who had favorable impressions of cosmetic surgery reality television shows were more likely to have an interest in pursuing surgery, the researchers found.

The second study of 189 participants (average age 19.84, 51% female) had half watch a TV program with a cosmetic surgery makeover and the other half watch a program with a neutral message.

The researchers found that those who viewed the cosmetic surgery show were more inclined to consider the procedure for themselves than those who watched the neutral message program, and that women were more likely to want cosmetic surgery than men.

Many people equate changing their appearance with being happier, noted Dr. Charlotte Markey, even though there is no evidence to prove this theory, she says.

“There is a cultural context to never be satisfied with our physical selves. It’s the rare person who is either completely oblivious or has developed such a strong counter message to not be affected,” said Markey.

The article, titled “A correlational and experimental examination of reality television viewing and interest in cosmetic surgery,” is available for purchase at Science Direct.