Bridalplasty Is a New Low for Women's Reality TV

Posted: Dec 09, 2010 12:01 AM
Bridalplasty Is a New Low for Women's Reality TV

Netty Aranguren wants her ears surgically pinned back. That way, she'll feel more prepared to embark on the journey of marriage.

Aranguren, 23, moved into the Bridalplasty mansion to compete with a dozen other women in order to win a surgical procedure designed to give her the face – and confidence – she wanted, along with the wedding of her dreams. As incentives, each woman is eligible to win individual procedures at the end of challenges such as assembling puzzles.

In addition to ear pinning, Aranguren is itching for veneers, liposuction of her abdomen, flanks, and inner thighs, among other procedures that she deems desirable for her big day.

If she wins it all, she will be eligible to receive all of the surgical procedures she wants, plus the all-expenses-paid dream wedding. Her bio says that Aranguren "considers herself to be a spoiled brat."

Bridalplasty is just one show in a long list focused on the "spoiled brat" qualities of its contestants – a breeding ground for self-centered, dramatic behavior that isn’t just gross, but dangerous.

"It's bizarre how our culture tends to glorify dysfunction. Sure, it's somewhat entertaining, but it's also very dangerous, especially for young women," said Alyssa Cordova, a lecture Director for the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute, a conservative women's organization. "As the networks continuously one-up each other and the 'reality' shows get more and more outrageous, people start becoming desensitized and this type of awful behavior becomes more and more acceptable in real life."

Bridalplasty follows "Bridezilla," "The Swan," "More to Love," "Paris Hilton’s My New BFF" and "The Bad Girls Club," a show, where seven women live in a house on South Beach, engaging in "manipulative backstabbing friendships, in-house love triangles, exotic trips to the Caribbean, unexpected alliances and endless mind games."

"Bad Girl Kori," one of the show's contestants, is promoted as "a spoiled blonde from Phoenix," who only likes money, "and daddy paying the bills."

"If this is modern empowerment, then count me out," said Cassy Fiano, a conservative blogger for multiple news outlets. Fiano said that her experience watching shows like "Sex and the City" is "semi-painful and a little sad." Yet, Bridezillas has received a whopping 4.5 stars out of ten on IMBD, the popular television show database, and the number of shows continues to proliferate.

S.E. Cupp, a writer for the Daily Caller, has a more nuanced view.

"While it likely attracts a certain kind of person to put their lives -- and in particular their hilarious shortcomings -- on display, I think the medium itself isn't to blame for the way people are presented," said Cupp. "If you're a gold-digging, table-throwing, breast-baring, trash-talking, vodka-swilling, dumb-as-rocks imbecile, I think it's safe to say that will come across. The bigger question may be, why do we have so huge an appetite to watch women who are such terrible human beings?"