The “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” matrimonial phrase has suddenly adopted a twisted meaning with E!’s heinous new reality show, “Bridalplasty.”
Instead of a new of pair shoes, or perhaps a new necklace, brides are walking down the aisle with new faces and bodies thanks to a little pre-wedding plastic surgery provided by E!.
Here’s a quick rundown of the show: Brides-to-be duke it out with their fellow psychologically disturbed contestants to win plastic surgery procedures hoping to pluck off the competition so they can ultimately walk away with the wedding of their dreams and a new head-to-toe body for the big day. If you win a weekly challenge you get to choose one surgical procedure from your “wish list” to have the show’s plastic surgeon perform.
I know I’m not the first to point this out, but have we lost our grip on reality?
After the demise of shows like “The Swan” and “Extreme Makeover,” it seemed we had collectively agreed that watching average looking women and men endure painful cosmetic surgeries to meet their imagined ideal was egregious, if not sickening. Leave it to the E! network to revert us back to a dangerous societal low.
Reality shows present us with unique glimpses into some of the weirdest pockets of the American public, and this newest effort only cements that sad fact.
Forgive me for laying some Tyra-like, saccharine preaching on you, but when did it stop being enough to look like you, to live with the face, the body, you were born with? I’m not trying to say plastic surgery goes against our biology – there are some cases where it is truly needed to better an individual’s health, but frankly, this just isn’t one of those cases. All of these women are subjecting themselves to reality-show induced humiliation purely for vanity.
For one, none of the women competing on “Bridalplasty” are remotely hideous. Maybe I’ve been primed to believe every woman is beautiful after being exposed to too many Dove commercials, but I can’t see anything blatantly wrong with the contestants, besides their psychological delusions.
In the episode I watched (yep, I subjected myself to an episode), the women had to compete in a challenge to be the fastest to correctly rearrange tiles that revealed what their bodies would like (in wedding dresses) if they were to win the overall competition and get the body of their dreams. The prize? An “injectibles” party.
When the women walked into the challenge they were greeted with poster-size images of their bodies, pre-surgery. Their eyes were shifty and anxious. But when the show’s host, Shayna Barker, excitedly told them their challenge prize, their pre-botox faces suddenly lit up at the thought of getting chemicals injected into their bodies. The only reaction missing was an exuberant “Yippee!” and some energetic squealing, though some “Ohmygods” were uttered.
I’m not a bride-to-be, so perhaps I don’t yet understand the urgency and desperation with looking perfect on your “special day” at this point in my life, but this all-consuming need to look flawless for your partner defies reality, and I would hope the strength of matrimonial love.
The fact that these women even signed up to be apart of this sickening battle of ultimate narcissism is truly shocking. Who are the husbands that still want to spend forever with a woman who looks nothing like the person they fell in love with? For the lucky winner of the head-to-toe makeover their partner won’t even see their new face/figure until they lift the veil. As if your wedding day wasn’t enough of an emotional rollercoaster, now people have to wait in anticipation to see what the love of their life looks like too.
And if these women’s partners wanted to marry them before they signed up for the show, before they had any procedures done, then what’s the point of being on the show? I thought when someone made it known they wanted to spend the rest of their days with you; they were also accepting your imperfections. Isn’t that the silent pact you and your partner make when you slip those gold bands on each other’s fingers?
We’re meant to have imperfections, whether it’s blemishes, scars, bumps or lumps. I think every woman, and human being for that matter has the right to better their appearance to increase their self-esteem and improve their quality of life, but at what point does this drive to look and feel your best go too far?
For the Date Safe Project, an organization devoted to debunking the misconceptions of healthy dating and intimacy and educating people on consent and sexual assault, they’ve called for a boycott of the show, saying it only contributes to our country’s perverted issues with body image. Mike Domitrz, one of the founders of the Date Safe Project, is even urging viewers to boycott Comcast, the broadcasting company that owns the E! Channel, and also their sponsors.
A boycott might get the show off the air and stop it from being picked up for another season, but the fact that it was shown for even just one season may have caused irreparable harm to the already fragile body image psyche of America.
Ultimately, we need to speak now or forever hold our peace against these terrifying glorifications of deranged bride culture before cosmetically enhanced faces and bodies really do become the “something new” walking down the aisle.
Ann Rivall (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a senior majoring in journalism, not interested in getting bridalplasty anytime soon.