Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Just when you think quite possibly you've heard it all, you come across an article about the new show, "Bridalplasty." Yes, that's right, it's time to mix reality television bridal shows and plastic surgery into one amazing opportunity for the winning bride to walk away with a "new and improved" body for her wedding day.

I suppose we are supposed to experience tremendous excitement that brides-to-be might have the unique opportunity for a surgical self-esteem boost. I mean, that's what their wedding is all about, right? Looking their artificial best.

In this interview, two of the show's creators discuss their enthusiasm about the show. Shanna Moakler says, "I work with girls – teens, and young women – and it’s such a personal choice and it’s something that I don’t think you can teach someone all the self-esteem in the world but if they have something that just bothers them they can’t get over it."
Her counterpart, Dr. Dubrow, adds, "You know, it would be nice to say what we should have to have self-confidence. But the truth is self-confidence is composed of a lot of different variables. And you may be amazing person, but always self-conscious about the bump on your nose and when you have that removed you are just a better version of yourself."

So, a better version of oneself involves a nip and tuck, a lipo and a nose job. Shanna Moakler, who says she would support her daughters getting plastic surgery when they are in their 20s, also explains that plastic surgery can change one's identity: "What was really amazing for me, as a woman, was seeing when you did do the procedures on them how it changed their whole identity. Meek girls all of a sudden had self-confidence and more personalities. They were just different women by the end of the journey."

When we identify ourselves externally -- by what we have, what clothing size we wear, what affirmation we are given -- then our identity is malleable. But that's not where our identity lies. Who we are is a gift from God -- created in love by God in order to love God and others. And somehow I don't see how a nose job can alter that identity.

The irony of the plastic surgery movement, which puts so much emphasis on the body, is that it actually disregards the body. The body becomes nothing more than an accessory -- an item, a thing, an object that we can do whatever we want to as long as it makes us "happy." The body is no longer seen as integral to my person.

Coupled with the backdrop of wedding preparations, "Bridalplasty" glaringly reminds us that our culture doesn't care about the body, and simultaneously doesn't understand the person. If beauty is "all about me," then I will never be happy. If I don't receive beauty as a gift from God to reflect His love, then I will never be satisfied. No amount of procedures will change my constant dissatisfaction.

And if our young brides-to-be are so concerned about their physical appearance matching their imaginary fantasies rather than allowing their God-given beauty to reflect God's love to their husband and to the world, then inevitably their understanding of marriage will begin to crumble as well.

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