Marc Peyser has written an insightful article, “Absolutely the Pitts: MTV`s and Fox`s Plastic-Surgery Shows Mess with Faces- and Heads,” on the incredibility of reality shows featuring people who have gone through plastic surgeries in order to appear beautiful like the celebrities. Published in Newsweek, the article expresses disgust at the reality shows of MTV and Fox that seem to exploit people with low self-esteem. According to the author, MTV’s I Want a Famous Face occasionally features people who end up appearing like their favorite celebrities following plastic surgery. All the same, the show sends awful messages to young viewers about self-esteem in addition to celebrity worship. Moreover, MTV calls its show a documentary. Peyser argues that it is certainly not a serious documentary given the frivolous music played by the show producers. There are serious elements of the show to boot, e.g. ugly footages of plastic surgeries. Even so, each I Want a Famous Face show ends on a supposedly positive note, as the people who have changed their faces describe their accomplishment. Fox’s The Swan does not always end on a positive note, however, as each unbeautiful woman who has gone through plastic surgery to turn beautiful must compete in a beauty pageant which only one of the women may win. The rest of the women must maintain their low self-esteem after painful plastic surgeries.
While Peyser’s article is rather well-written as well as interesting, it must also be described as a highly opinionated piece that fails to produce sound arguments against the reality shows featuring people who have gone through plastic surgeries to appear beautiful. The author suggests, for example, that MTV’s I Want a Famous Face must have a terrible effect on the self-esteem of young impressionable viewers. However, he fails to describe the presumed effect. Thus, his argument remains incomplete, and all that the reader must understand is that the author is totally against shows such as I Want a Famous Face and The Swan. Even toward the end of the article, the reader is left guessing about the reason for Peyser’s beliefs. While describing The Swan, the author states: “The winners go on to compete in a beauty pageant, where they`ll suffer the same shallow and judgmental treatment that drove them to plastic surgery in the first place. One of them, of course, will win. Everyone else goes back to being a loser.” But, perhaps, the women who fail to win the first prize do not feel like losers after all. As a matter of fact, the reader is left with the impression that the author is being extremely judgmental and his writing is as close to propaganda as it can be. Emotionally charged with disgust, Peyser fails to thoroughly explain the reasons for his arguments like the angry individual who fails to use his reason as he must because his emotions are out of control.
Still, the article must be admired for the author’s incisive writing style. It is an enjoyable piece to be read by the young and the old alike. The author feels very strongly about his opinion on reality shows that feature people who want to change their appearances, and may therefore be able to convince numberless readers about the awfulness of I Want a Famous Face and The Swan. In point of fact, the strength of Peyser’s obvious emotions may also complete the suggested arguments of the author against going through plastic surgeries to appear beautiful. The reader may assume that plastic surgeries may not truly raise people’s self-esteem. Likewise, Peyser’s confident judgment on the subject may subtly convince the reader that MTV’s I Want a Famous Face teaches inappropriate values to the young. For readers that are persuaded by the author’s opinion, perhaps the suggested arguments are enough.