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The Final Taboo Frontiers

What happens when you mix profit-driven media with celebrity culture on teen TV? MTV’s <i>I Want A Famous Face Show</i> and it’s not pretty.
 
 
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As I flip through the TV dial, I have to wonder if there are any moral taboos left at all on Reality TV. Are there still any frontiers of shock that can be crossed in the name of TV ratings?

For over a year now, MTV’s I Want a Famous Face Show is breaking down yet another moral barrier of what is acceptable and encouraged. The show selects obsessed fans and gets them a plastic surgery to make them look like the stars they admire. So far, the only celebrity that seems to be bothered by it is actress Drew Barrymore.

A few days ago Barrymore convinced a teenager not to undergo a plastic surgery that would make her look like Drew. Apparently, when Barrymore discovered MTV was set to film an episode about one of her fans, she tracked the girl down, and by phone informed her, "You're beautiful just as you are." The woman canceled the surgery and pulled out of the MTV series. Hopefully, it will inspire others to do the same.

Kristina Rizga is an associate editor at AlterNet. She edits WireTap—AlterNet’s youth-oriented section.