A new Yale University School of Medicine study followed 42 people through their initial consultations for plastic surgery, and found that they were more likely to watch television shows about surgical makeovers such as Dr. 90210 and Extreme Makeover:
Only 12% of those studied had never seen a cosmetic surgery show; 79% reported that television influenced their decision to pursue a cosmetic operation.
The research team also found that people who watched frequently always thought they knew more about the pros and cons of surgery. While the study doesn't find a direct causal relationship between TV viewing and the decision to get surgery, I'm going to go ahead and make this observation: I think the shows have made plastic surgery more socially acceptable, which may make people feel more comfortable with the decision to go under the knife. (Then again, there's a strong argument that these shows, with their magical transformations, imply that happiness is just a nip, tuck and snip away.) Either way, this study gives a new meaning to the phrase 'boob tube.'