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Body Image. 2010 Mar;7(2):165-71. doi: 10.1016/j.bodyim.2009.10.006. Epub 2010 Jan 20.

A correlational and experimental examination of reality television viewing and interest in cosmetic surgery.

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  • 1Rutgers University, Camden, NJ 08102, United States.


Two studies are presented that examine the influence of media messages about cosmetic surgery on youths' interest in altering their own physical appearance. In Study 1, 170 participants (59% female; M age=19.77 years) completed surveys assessing their impression of reality television shows featuring cosmetic surgery, appearance satisfaction, self-esteem, and their interest in cosmetic surgery. Results indicated that participants who reported favorable impressions of reality television shows featuring cosmetic surgery were more likely to indicate interest in pursuing surgery. One hundred and eighty-nine participants (51% female; M age=19.84 years) completed Study 2. Approximately half of the participants were exposed to a television message featuring a surgical make-over; the other half was exposed to a neutral message. Results indicated that participants who watched a television program about cosmetic surgery wanted to alter their own appearance using cosmetic surgery more than did participants who were not exposed to this program.

Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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