Plastic on the outside

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It’s disgusting. It’s perverted. It’s everything that’s wrong with the world. And I can’t look away.

Bridalplasty. An Extreme Makeover-esque reality show that exploits the unrealistic body expectations placed on women and our cultures’ materialistic obsession. In short, good watching.

It’s not even that it’s necessarily entertaining. More … fascinating. I, like any woman – like anybody –  have my body woes. They vary from day to day, and despite what it says on my Facebook, I am not perfect.

But this show is like looking into a funhouse mirror of neurosis. Like those warped mirrors pull and stretch its reflections, Bridalplasty distorts those body woes to their most extreme.

In it, women compete to win plastic surgeries off their ever-growing list. Three nose jobs, a couple of boob jobs, and a tummy tuck later, the end game is to become, as the show likes to pound home, the “perfect bride.”

Perfection is only a few painful surgeries away.

The show might seem like harmless reality, for lack of a better word, entertainment, but under the surface lies something much larger. At its core, it is a Petri dish of our society. Sped up and exaggerated, yes, but the underlying values are still there.

Each woman runs to meet each bruised and bloated “winner” when they’re hazily wheeled in after surgery. The bride looks like she’s just been in a car accident, and the others fall to pieces wishing it were them who was heavily medicated and carved to perfection.

The thing is, these women are beautiful. They even get mad at each other because they feel the others are perfect, only they are disgusting and, therefore, need these surgeries.

I’ve done that. Not to the extreme, but I’ve gone out and compared myself to woman X, Y, or Z. How could I not? That’s what I’ve been trained to do.

In today’s society, with all the means available, if you’re not perfect you’ve chosen to be flawed. And why would anyone want that?

Why would you want a nose with any ethnicity? Or the crooked smile you got from your mom? Why would you keep the laugh lines that represent years of having something to smile at?

Each of those brides is loved. Someone, somewhere, cares for them, flaws and all. And, right after that person decided they wanted to wake up next to those A-cups for the rest of their life, those women decided to change the face and body their loved ones fell for.

Sure, it’s exaggerated. Most people walking down the street don’t have ten surgeries to check off a list before they feel good about themselves. But it’s where we’re going.

Perfect seems attractive. But what if you end up changing the exact thing that you never realized made you special, made you … you?

The window we’ve left for pretty has become smaller and smaller. The ironic thing is that the pressure to attain it has become stronger and stronger.

If Bridalplasty has taught me anything, I’ve learned I can’t keep brow beating myself when I don’t fit a certain mould. Because when you’ve decided that you’ll be beautiful by any means necessary, the results aren’t pretty.

Kim Elaschuk
News Editor

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