Having been on quite a few plastic surgery related shows, documentaries and news segments I can tell you, the media beefs up the ‘reality’. Even reality TV is not reality TV these days. True life is usually not as exciting as what will keep your eyes glued to the tube. Hence the stuffing and frosting involved with producing an “entertaining” plastic surgery show.
For instance, in one documentary I was talked into having more plastic surgery than I was interested in to put on a show. Granted, it was free and well, no one twisted my arm in the end. But, for someone to mention how much ‘better’ I might look and how great it would be to show the public this procedure, did help mold my opinion on whether or not I would choose to undergo said procedure. Of course, as it happens it was one of the procedures I happen to regret.
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The media loves to push the envelope to keep us entertained no matter how misinformed we are in the end. While it isn’t malicious, the effects can trigger those of us who not as well-informed to undergo procedures we might not seek out on our own—including procedures which are trendy, but not tried and true. So, I am sure I do not have to warn you against having a procedure solely based upon what you may see on the news, read about in an article or press release, or what you see someone ‘successfully’ undergoing during a makeover show.
Many times the actual recovery process, even the complications and revisions, are not portrayed in television shows—especially self-serving make-over type productions. Usually, however, this is due to time constraints. Other reasons may include the fact that the average person on the street may not be able to comprehend that many times revisions, or small complications, do exist in the real world. Other times it very well may be that Dr. Beverly Hills may not wish for anything that he/she does surgically to be cast in a negative light.
Whatever the case, TV is just that, TV. Not all of it is completely truthful and unenhanced, even if it is on the news. Nip / Tuck is obviously a drama peppered with reality. But, if you don’t know any better, how can you be sure what you are seeing isn’t based upon truth? Not to mention, perception is reality and when it comes to the news, and if the journalist or interviewer doesn’t know any better, how can the ‘truth’ be questioned? It is my opinion that when it comes to plastic surgery, it is up to journalists and producers everywhere to report on the absolute truth, no matter how unentertaining it may be. Responsibility must be taken in order to keep the flocks of misinformed, or uninformed, masses from undergoing the newest face lift or chemical liposuction procedure. Leading people astray, albeit unintentionally, but rather to spark interest ,can be dangerous.
Having dealt with a LOT of media entities which either wanted me to act a certain way, or report edonly on a certain aspect of a procedure, or downright made their “facts” up to make the story seem extraordinarily negative (i.e the Self Magazine article) , I am hesitant to believe a lot of what I see these days. Everyone lovess trainwreck and bad plastic surgery is no exception. Not to mention since they needed their story two days ago, everything is usually rushed. You can’t truly report on a patient from beginning to end of say, a tummy tuck procedure, without eating up a ton of production time, film and budget. So, what else is there to do? Speed everything up, act like everything is fine and put on a happy face. Never mind the massive infection or prolonged recovery tat may occasionally occur, after all no one wants to see that and then go in and schedule their own procedure, right? Unless of course, the segment is designed as an exposé or negative story, then by all means, they wait like vultures for you to take your first dose of Cipro and lay in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber to treat that massive Staph infection. Your reality couldn’t be better for them if they had scripted it themselves.
Just be sure that when you go into a procedure, what you see on TV is not always what you get. Plastic Surgery is far more involved than picking out a pair of boobs and lips in a before and after album, going to sleep and then waking up looking like a Playmate. There is research, preparation, recovery (sometimes extended) and then the adjustment period. So take your time, watch the makeover shows for fun, but when it comes down to reality TV, the REAL cosmetic surgery reality may not be what you’re watching on your favorite network!