Channel 4 is introducing a new reality TV show called The Surjury, which as the title suggests, is focused on young people and their relationship with cosmetic surgery.
However, although it’s not yet on the air, the show, which is said to be targeting an ‘image-obsessed generation,’ has already received some backlash for its controversial approach to the sensitive topic.
As the summary describes, The Surjury will gather a group of young people who are desperate to undergo plastic surgery on different parts of their bodies. However, they can only do so after being evaluated by a panel of 12 peers and experts who will voice their opinions and ultimately either give them the go ahead for the life-changing procedure or decide against it.
Each contestant must secure 75% votes for before they undergo the surgical procedure and will then be invited back months later to ‘show off their results.’
Some critics have argued that the concept, which in essence boils down to a group of strangers deciding whether a contestant needs plastic surgery, is problematic.
British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) president Mark Henley said in a statement: ‘“Based on the promotional material alone, we believe the show will trivialise the serious decision all should take when considering aesthetic procedures.’
‘It is disappointing that, in 2019, we are still having to remind large broadcasters of the potential harm caused by glamorising cosmetic surgery – particularly when targeting young adults or those with self-esteem issues.’
But Channel 4 have argued that the show ‘allows people to explore their choices more thoroughly and to take measured advice from their peers’ before making the decision.
According to the show’s producers, contestant will either walk away with the ‘surgery they’ve always wanted,’ or alternatively, the show will give them a ‘confidence boost’ if the jury votes that they don’t need it.
Ross McCarthy, executive producer for Gobstopper Television, which is making the show, said: ‘This is a totally new way of doing peer-to- peer advice. Our pitchers will either get the surgery they’ve always wanted, or a massive boost in confidence when the public rules they don’t need work at all!’
Similarly, Becky Cadman, Channel 4’s factual entertainment commissioning editor, said: ‘The Surjury is an innovative format that promises to literally get under the skin of people who think that a quick fix is their best option.’
The Surjury will air on Channel 4 later this year.