David B. Reath, MD
Knoxville, TN (865) 450-9253

“Glee” Covers Plastic Surgery (And Strikes The Right Chord)

Glee Plastic Surgery Episode

This week’s episode of Fox Network’s hit show Glee had plastic surgery as one of several plot lines. While this does not always happen on the show, the kids — specifically Rachel and Quinn, got it right.  And in so doing, the topic of choosing to have plastic surgery was handled in a fairly balanced and healthy way. Kudos to Fox!

What Happened: The Play By Play
While rehearsing a dance number, Rachel got belted in the nose and seeks medical help for her broken nose.  The doctor she saw was portrayed both as being glib and being a jerk, so I am glad to say that he was not wearing the logo of the ASPS (American Society of Plastic Surgeons).

Although he did not need to set or reduce the nasal fracture as the nose was not crooked, he did suggest that she should use this as an opportunity to have “some vanity work” on her Streisand-esque nose, and have her septum straightened. According to the doctor, “All the Jewish girls have this done for their 16th birthday, and it would make her sing better.”

My Diagnosis
There is so much wrong what this guy’s approach and what he said that it would require another blog post (i.e. breathe better, yes; sing better, no). But the issue at hand here is that she comes in for treatment of an injury and her treating physician recommends something she doesn’t want.

So, much of the show is devoted to Rachel’s struggle over whether or not to have an elective cosmetic operation. As the show progresses, we find that Quinn has indeed had a rhinoplasty because she was unhappy with the shape of her nose and she, herself, wanted to change this. The discussion of who should get what done and under what circumstances ensues. Ultimately after the appropriate measure of TV teenage angst, Rachel decides to keep her nose as is and Quinn is happy that she did what she had wanted to do.

The Right Note
So, Glee and the girls, seem to have gotten this one right and helped Gleeks everywhere think about this topic better. The person who did want an appropriate cosmetic operation, had it.  The one who had an injury and didn’t want a cosmetic operation did not have it done.

Acceptance of who you are was the real point of this show, and I would suggest that both girls display this acceptance of self in a good light. Clearly, Rachel was accepting of her native nose and kept it. I would also argue that Quinn was accepting of herself, too. She realized that there was a portion of her appearance that she did not like and that she could alter if she chose to. And, in accepting this about herself, she chose to do something. Is this a stretch? I don’t think so. Ultimately doing the right thing for the right motivations seems to carry the day. Thoughts?

All the best,

David B.

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