Reality television shows that were developed immediately after the advent of the concept did not elicit much controversy since they had a clean image. Their history started with contests and simple dating shows (Coontz 378). Such shows are still popular in the United States. However, the nature of modern bridal television shows has changed a lot. Most of them are defined by women who dress in unconventional manner.
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Among the most common reality shows that have featured on television include American Idol, Top Chef, The Real Housewives and Miami Ink. In most of these shows, sexuality features prominently as individuals compete for lovers. As a result, the shows usually attract many viewers. This essay will provide an analysis of a bridal television show known as Bridalplasty. It is important to provide an analysis for this bridal television show because it arguably portrays the rot in the American culture.
Bridalplasty is a reality television show where women with intentions of getting married compete for an ultimate makeover. Apart from focusing on makeup and hair, the show awards the ultimate winner a total makeover. This is done through plastic surgery for the whole body.
The women who compete in the show usually list their surgery wishes. The dream of some of them is to undergo more than fifteen surgeries by the end of the show. They continue to compete until the winner who undergoes one surgery from her wish list is identified. After this, the ultimate winner gets all her surgery wishes granted. In addition, she gets a fully paid celebrity-style wedding. This is what all the women in the show look for and such a woman becomes the happiest of them all.
Bridalplasty is based on the principle that the bridegrooms of the women in the show value the physical appearance of their women. This prompts the women to attempt all possible methods to appear physically perfect. They strongly believe that physical perfection is something that can give them the happiness they desire in life. This is emphasized in the initial episode of the television show where the importance of physical perfection is mentioned more than ten times (Coontz 383).
An analysis of the content of the show brings out one important fact, that all the women who compete for the ultimate prize highly value their physical looks. The show also revolves around a wedding thus love features prominently throughout its episodes. However, the women express other values which highlight the importance they attach to flat tummies, big breasts, being slim and perfect noses.
These are the conversations that take place in the first episode where about sixty percent of them revolve around the mentioned subjects. There are also conversations about their husbands, fame and informal subjects like the nature of houses they would like to have during the period of the show.
It is surprising to note that the most prominent topic throughout their discussions is criticism against other people. It is often said that one of the reasons why people criticize others is because they feel insecure. It is evident that the women who compete on Bridalplasty show are highly insecure.
The information that the show passes to the entire American population is of great concern. It is therefore important to know whether it has any negative effect on the viewers. On the basis of Cultivation Theory by George Gerbner, it is obvious that it affects the viewers negatively (Hekker 414).
The theory assumes that television is a powerful tool that influences the way human beings perceive reality and their surroundings. It changes their attitudes and certain thinking patterns. On the basis of this assumption, the effects brought about by the number of hours people watch television vary from one individual to the other.
As a result, Gerbner went ahead and classified people into three groups. The first group is comprised of light viewers, the second one moderate viewers while the third group is made up of heavy viewers. He also pointed out that people tend to believe television messages when such messages show association with certain situations or events in their lives. The messages become part of their lives and they treat them as normal occurrences.
The Americans should be concerned about Bridalplasty television show because it has the potential to affect them and their culture negatively. The show mainly focuses on physical perfection. This makes the contestants ready to do anything in order to achieve it. According to them, physical perfection is the only source of happiness in life. It is true that they expose themselves to many risks as they look for perfection.
However, this fact is never taken seriously or even highlighted. The show tries to inform them that physical beauty is what defines women and any woman who lacks beauty cannot be happy. It also passes a strong message that, it is not good enough for women to remain the way they were created regardless of whether there are men who wish to live with them (Cherlin 424).
The most critical concern about the show is the consequences it might have on children, teens, and young adults since their attitudes about reality and life are not fully developed. Researchers have identified that when female students frequently watch idealized images, they develop body comparison habits that make them dissatisfied with their bodies.
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They have also conducted research in a bid to understand the effect of reality television shows like Bridalplasty on young women. The results have revealed that there is a close link between the number of people who watch plastic surgery shows, their real life resemblance, and their influence on the decisions to look for consultation that patients make.
The results conform to the findings of Gerbner in his Cultivation Theory. Although Bridalplasty show earns plastic surgeons a lot of money, it makes young women and men desire to achieve unrealistic physical standards. The show clearly portrays the problem with the American culture, something that the Americans should be concerned about.
Cherlin, Andrew J. “American Marriage in Transition.” Writing and Reading across the Curriculum. Ed. Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. 11th ed. Boston: Longman-Pearson, 2011. 424-29. Print.
Coontz, Stephanie. “The radical idea of marrying for love.” Writing and reading across the Curriculum. Ed. Laurence and Leonard J. Rosen. 11th ed. Boston: Longman, 2011. 378-88. Print.
Hekker, Martin T. (2011a). “Paradise lost (domestic division).” Writing and reading across the curriculum. Ed. Laurence Behrens and Leonard J. Rosen. 11th ed. Boston: Longman, 2011a. 414-15. Print.