Through the expertise of a group of doctors, a plastic surgeon, a cosmetic dentist, and an eye surgeon, along with a dream team of personal trainers, stylists and hair and makeup artists, "Extreme Makeover" aims to transform the lives of participants and eventually redirect their destinies. A woman can go through liposuction, tummy tuck, face-lift along with fashion consultations and highlights. One of the main reasons for the popularity of this series is that the transformed look is more natural rather the plastic look as seen in other beauty makeover shows such as Swan. The latter is perceived as more drastic and gives the strong feeling of ugly ducklings has been forced into their heads. A viewer of Swan comments, “I thought the young girl was reasonably attractive before they operated on her. After, she looked almost freakish with the pinched shaped nose and big mouth which looked too big. Poor girl looked better before!”(Franco 474).
Whereas, the Extreme Makeover has proved to be more empathetic towards the viewers and the participants. Web sites, such as www.fansofrealitytv.com, give an opportunity to ex-contestants and candidates share their emotional stories and encourage each other to apply for the show. By focusing on the participant’s personal life, intimate stories, reality makeover television has turned intimacy into normalcy (Skeggs, Beverly and Wood 563). This has eventually normalized cosmetic surgeries, thereby creating a cultural shift. Even the American Society for Aesthetic plastic surgery has revealed that makeover shows on television have boosted a 44% increase in surgical and non-surgical procedures performed in the United States since 2003. Women, in general, have become convinced that a perfect physical appearance is necessary for inner happiness and professional achievements.