THE LENGTHS AMERICANS WILL GO TO IN ORDER TO LOOK AND FEEL GOOD...
"20/20" REPORTS ON VANITY AND COSMETIC SURGERY, FRIDAY, JUNE 24 ON ABC
How far will Americans go to satisfy their vanity, and when did slicing into perfectly functioning body parts for cosmetic reasons become routine? In an hour-long report, "20/20" looks at the nips, tucks, lifts, tattoos, etc. that have turned plastic surgery into television entertainment and a $12 billion a year industry. "I think we're living in a Polaroid generation, or I could say now the digital camera generation, where everybody wants instant gratification," says top New York dermatologist Dr. Fred Brandt. The report airs on "20/20," FRIDAY, JUNE 24 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. This is the first of a seven-part "20/20" series on the 'New Seven Deadly Sins,' which next month will examine greed. Reports for this installment include:
* Forget a car as a high school graduation gift - some parents in Long Island, New York are giving their daughters breast implants instead. John Stossel talks to girls about their desire for a bigger bust at a young age, and also to some parents who agree to the implant gift. "I am a loving and caring person, and I'm outgoing, but the way I used to dress and my body language didn't say that. And now it does. Because of boobs? Yes," says recent high school grad Jennifer. And why would her parents pay about seven thousand dollars for the surgery? "We just felt that this is one thing that we can give her... This is a gift of love from us, and we see a difference in her," says mom Doreen.
Vanity has become an obsession with teens, says psychotherapist Laura Gray. She says girls often believe the only thing standing between them and being happy is a better body. Gray wonders whether this is just a quick fix. "What I see today a lot is parents who cannot bear for their kids to be uncomfortable. They don't want them to struggle," says Gray.
* Deborah Roberts reports on women who search for affordable solutions to the high cost of cosmetic surgery in the United States. "20/20" follows three women as they embark on "plastic surgery vacations" in Costa Rica with the dreams of changing their bodies with extensive surgeries at bargain basement prices. Will Tammy Vredenburg from Savannah, Georgia and Lori Brown and her sister, Linda Firth, from Nashville, Tennessee, be happy with the surgeons they found on the internet, and what will they look and feel like after their surgeries?
* So how far is too far for Hollywood casting director Lisa Beach? She never seriously considered cosmetic surgery until after attending a college reunion, but now wants to look and feel better. Beach allows "20/20" cameras to follow her to a top New York cosmetic surgeon to find out what she "really needs." Chris Connelly also talks to other women about how they obtain their youthful looks: Diane Gilman, a fashion designer with a show on the Home Shopping Network, who has a $1,600-a-month beauty regime that includes working out, vitamins and the controversial substance, Human Growth Hormone; and Barbara "K," who has had numerous procedures, including Restaylin injections, lasers and botox, among others.
* Lynn Sherr does a wrap-up essay on why people -- mostly women -- have cosmetic procedures and why they willingly submit to the knife, or laser, etc., to alter perfectly usable body parts. Sherr also addresses the question: Is vanity a sin?
"20/20" is anchored by Elizabeth Vargas and John Stossel. David Sloan is the executive producer.