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Cosmetic surgery reality TV sends the wrong message

Cosmetic surgery reality TV sends the wrong message

London, UK - 10 May 2004 - The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons ( ) today denounced the growing trend in cosmetic surgery reality shows, such as MTV's I Want a Famous Face, saying that these programmes send a dangerous message to viewers, encouraging people to seek plastic surgery for the wrong reasons.

According to Norman Waterhouse, President of the BAAPS;

"One of the things surgeons must evaluate when interviewing patients is whether they have realistic expectations about the potential results. Wanting to look exactly like a celebrity is a classic example of unrealistic attitudes. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons urges those interested in cosmetic procedures to first speak with a qualified surgeon, as they can provide unbiased information and recommendations."

Programmes such as the FX Network drama Nip/Tuck and ABC's Extreme Makeover from America, and Channel Five's upcoming Plastic Surgery Live prey on the vulnerabilities of a society increasingly obsessed with physical perfection.

According to Waterhouse;

"Viewers of these shows may be encouraged to regard "extreme" changes as the goal of cosmetic procedures, when in fact most plastic surgery is geared toward enhancing a person's appearance while preserving their individuality."

The BAAPS also warns that patients who base their expectations on another person's surgical results may be in for disappointment. This is because every individual has unique physical characteristics that help determine the final results of any cosmetic surgery undertaken.

The Association recognises the challenge producers face when creating new entertainment formats. When it comes to health issues, the BAAPS gives credit to those programmes that select appropriately qualified surgeons, particularly members of the BAAPS, which ensures they have appropriate training and experience. To promote patient safety, the need for proper credentials should always be emphasized.

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