So I’m sitting at home on a Sunday morning, trying to broaden my horizons, educate myself about the goings-on in the world by reading the Sunday New York Times. As I’m reading, I notice the TV in the background with this awful shrieking sound, laced with bleeps of expletives. Curious, I took a peek and found that I was witness to the demise of humanity! Ok, maybe it wasn’t that melodramatic but there was a group interview with the cast of Real Housewives of Miami. Apparently it was a Reunion show from the 2012 season in preparation for the upcoming 2013 season.
I recognize the producers must find the most outrageous characters to make these “reality” shows interesting. And I recognize that the fighting and the cursing and the cat fights lend to that entertainment. But these are all such low hanging fruit. And if they don’t have anything else to fight about, much like most of these shows, the producers move the discussion to talk of the plastic surgery the cast has had in the past.
At this point, I shutter with embarrassment. As a plastic surgeon, I know that cosmetic medicine and cosmetic surgery bring more to the world than fodder for the Real Housewives of Miami. While some of the cast have had disfiguring injections or surgery, the world of plastic surgery can bring good to the world. I think most would agree that reconstructive plastic surgery, in the form of saving limbs after trauma or breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, is clearly beneficial to humanity. But I would also argue that cosmetic surgery, in the right circumstances, can give a middle-aged woman more confidence in the workplace, or allow 16-year old to be less self-conscious about a bump on her nose. If you aren’t self-conscious about anything and feel that you’re happy with what God gave you, then that’s great. I’m not trying to arm-twist anyone into having plastic surgery or injections like Botox/Xeomin or fillers. Keep in mind though, there are others in the world that feel differently and they have as much right to adjust some things about their body as you do to not have any adjustments. As with anything, moderation is key. And as I argue about the benefits of cosmetic plastic surgery and promote competent board-certified plastic surgeons to provide treatment, these reality shows nullify those arguments.
When I mention how these extreme exhibitions of human insecurity are so awful, I also recognize that I’m stooping to their level in just discussing it. I guess there are worse things in the world that need to be fixed – as evidenced by one heartbreaking article in the NY Times that I read this morning – but I couldn’t NOT mention the embarrassment I felt this morning for the profession of plastic surgery, brought on by the Real Housewives of Miami.