Women who watch makeover shows are more mindful about their bodies, according to a new study.
The University of Southern California professor Julie Albright believes these shows are driving women to go under the knife to conform to a heightened definition of beauty, one that is increasingly difficult to attain.
"The practice now has incredible visibility, which has led to incredible acceptance, which has led to incredible pressure for women to improve their appearance," said Albright.
The researchers surveyed 662 college students in Los Angeles and Buffalo about their viewing habits and body image.
The findings revealed that women watch these shows more than men and the more they watch the more they are likely to feel anxiety about their bodies.
Albright said that women in the study equated beauty to wealth and an affluent lifestyle.
"Women are being taught to access power and status through their looks, " she said.
"Before women might buy a Louis Vuitton purse to show off their 'status.' Now they might buy new breasts as a sign of their success," she added.
The study suggested that women felt a surgically enhanced body was more attractive to men, though men in the study disagreed.
Albright said that these shows impose unrealistic beauty standards that make people question their own bodies while giving them an instruction manual on how to change their appearance.
The study 'Impossible Bodies' is published in Configurations Journal from Johns Hopkins University Press.