A new reality TV show in which a group of strangers must decide if a person is allowed to win free cosmetic surgery has come under fire from MPs and health professionals.
Hosted by Love Island’s Caroline Flack, Channel 4’s The Surjury was described as “tawdry, voyeuristic, titillating and essentially exploitative” by the Scottish National Party MP Brendan O’Hara.
The Surjury presenter: Caroline Flack
The premise of the show will see contestants trying to convince 12 members of the public that they are deserving of a free cosmetic procedure. If they win 75 percent of the vote, they will get their procedure for free and then return to the show at a later date to reveal the results.
Channel 4’s chief executive, Alex Mahon, defended the show, saying: “There are huge volumes of cosmetic surgery in society and there have been shows dealing with cosmetic surgery for decades, such as Extreme Makeover. The question is, can we create a useful discussion about what that means in society and whether the current rates of cosmetic surgery are acceptable?”
Cosmetic doctor Dr Tijion Esho, who appeared on E4’s show Body Fixers, vocalised his concerns about the show. Dr Esho wrote on Twitter: “I was cast as the doctor for this and declined after the press release told the full show premise - I can't believe any ethical doctor would be involved.”
While the show is yet to air, it is our opinion at Cosmetic Surgery Solicitors that any programme in which people are forced to compete to win an aesthetic procedure should be viewed with caution, and parental discretion is advised.
We are campaigning to change legislation on social media platforms to prevent young and vulnerable users from seeing content that features or demonstrates the effects of cosmetic surgery. Since we launched our campaign, progress is slowly being made:
- In September 2019 it was announced that Instagram and Facebook will impose stricter controls around adverts for cosmetic surgery. Adverts that are seen to be promoting surgery will be hidden from users under the age of 18
- On 23 October 2019, Instagram announced it will be removing all augmented reality (AR) filters from the app that depict or promote cosmetic surgery, such as the ‘FixMe’ filter that came under fire earlier in the month
However, while it may seem that progress is being made, The Surjury highlights that there is still a long way to go until all media and entertainment outlets form a unified stance in ending the inappropriate promotion of non-essential aesthetic procedures.
The Surjury is set to air in 2020.