Reality television programming is a popular type of television programming, and features shows about cosmetic surgery. Social media such as Facebook and Twitter are increasingly popular methods of sharing information. The authors surveyed college students to determine among those watching reality television cosmetic surgery programs whether perceived realism or social media use was associated with attitudes toward cosmetic surgery.
Participants (n = 126) were surveyed about their reality television cosmetic surgery program viewing habits, their perception of the realism of reality television programming, and social media topics of Twitter and Facebook. Outcome variables were the Acceptance of Cosmetic Surgery Scales of social, intrapersonal, and consider.
Perceived realism was significantly associated with increased scores on the Acceptance of Cosmetic Surgery Scale subscales of social (p = 0.004), intrapersonal (p = 0.03), and consider (p = 0.03). Following a character from a reality television program on Twitter was significantly associated with increased social scores (p = 0.04). There was no significant association of Facebook behavior with attitudes toward cosmetic surgery.
Cosmetic plastic surgeons may benefit by advertising their services on cosmetic surgery reality television programs. These reality television programs portray cosmetic surgery in a positive manner, and viewers with increased perceived realism will be a potential receptive audience toward such advertising. Also, advertising cosmetic surgery services on Twitter feeds that discuss cosmetic surgery reality television programs would be potentially beneficial.