A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Skin Decision: Before And After is a reality show about medical professionals performing cosmetic treatments and surgeries on patients. There’s lots of cutting, injecting, and lasering of the skin, and nudity is sometimes visible. Clients talk about violent and traumatic experiences (like car accidents and vicious attacks), and about feeling good after they’ve healed from their procedures. The series also promotes the medical experts’ individual practices and companies, as well as the products they use. The overall series sends the message that cosmetic treatments can help people look better and have more self-confidence, without a lot of nuance.
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What's the story?
SKIN DECISION: BEFORE AND AFTER is a reality series features people seeking cosmetic procedures in order to be better versions of themselves without changing who they are. Each episode features two people who are struggling with issues like visible scars, post-childbirth skin excess, and even poorly healed bullet holes. After sharing what happened to create these problems, they meet with Dr. Sheila Nazarian, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, and Jamie Sherrill, a celebrity skin expert known as Nurse Jamie, to discuss what treatment options are best suited to help them. Viewers then get to watch as they perform specialized skin repair and surgical procedures. Once their clients heal, comparisons are made between what they looked and felt like prior to the procedures, and how they look and feel now.
Is it any good?
This series features clients undergoing a series of cosmetic procedures and surgeries in hopes of looking better and feeling more confident about themselves. Many of them talk about the traumatizing experiences associated with their physical imperfections, including car accidents and attempted murder. Others are seeking relief from physical flaws that they believe have kept them from living a full life. Dr. Nazarian and Nurse Jamie are always sympathetic, and frame each treatment plan as a way of helping them. But they are also clear about what results each client should expect.
Skin Decision: Before And After isn’t meant to give medical advice, but sometimes it has interesting explanations about what a procedure is and how it works. However, very little is said about the cost of these procedures, or how painful they are. The two professionals, especially Nurse Jamie, sometimes use these opportunities to self-promote, and to highlight the specific tools they are using to get the best results. Nonetheless, folks who enjoy watching transformational reality series will find themselves easily caught up in this one. (They may also start thinking about their physical flaws, and what could be done to change them.)
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the reasons people choose to have cosmetic treatments and surgeries. How can having their skin improved or their stomachs cinched in help them live better lives? Do the clients appearing on Skin Decision: Before And After have reasonable expectations about how the procedures they undergo will help them?
In what ways do reality shows serve as marketing vehicles for products and services? Is this a bad thing? Is this the only reason that people agree to star in them?
Is it ethical for doctors and other medical professionals to be promoting themselves on shows meant to be entertaining? What are some of the potential problems with doing so? Are there benefits?
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