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Gov. Cuomo’s Attempt to Ban Provocative Plastic Surgery Ads on NYC Subways Reveals More than Cleavage, says Beverly Hills Physicians

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York State has taken aim at ads for plastic surgery on New York City subway cars, such as one that featured two partially covered female breasts behind the phrase “Made in New York.” Beverly Hills Physicians, a medical group that includes some of the finest cosmetic practitioners in Southern California, would like to point out that the leader of the nation’s third most populous state might have better uses for his time. Whether focusing on tummy tuck surgery or breast and buttock augmentation, plastic surgery advertising will naturally have to show the body parts involved in a procedure, and this can readily be done without violating the “family friendly environment” Governor Cuomo cites. While Beverly Hills Physicians believes that ads should be tastefully crafted, advertising standards and practices should not be made up on the fly by politicians searching for an attention-grabbing issue.

Governor Cuomo is regularly mentioned as one of the few potential candidates who may be likely to take on Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. He is, however, widely disliked by the party’s more liberal wing and he badly needs an issue to distinguish himself from the former secretary of state. It’s unfortunate if the governor believes that protecting subway travelers from fairly benign plastic surgery ads is the route to national prominence, but Beverly Hills Physicians understands that not everyone is equally comfortable with images of the body. Moreover, some body parts are going to arouse more discomfort than others. For example, when fashioning promotional material for our mommy makeover procedures, BHP’s marketing team will tend to stress tummy tucks rather than some of the more intimate procedures that reverse the unwanted aftereffects of childbirth.

As for protecting children, it’s unclear that damage can be inflicted by a simple picture of an enhanced body part. It’s up to parents, of course, to place such images in context. In any case, Beverly Hills Physicians strongly embraces the reality that women and men come in all shapes and sizes. Their marketing material for its cosmetic surgery, weight loss, podiatry, and other services reflects that fact. Indeed, BHP’s roster of outstanding board certified plastic surgeons agree that procedures have far better results if patients have a realistic perspective on the likely results.

At the same time, it’s possible that some plastic surgery ads could move outside the bounds of good taste and what is appropriate for a general audience – though standards may well vary from community to community. The advertisement that spurred the controversy in New York, however, strikes most viewers as far from shocking – just turn on a television or visit a public beach or dance club in New York or Los Angeles and you are likely to see similar imagery. Nevertheless, Beverly Hills Physicians agrees that ads should never be salacious or provocative in a way that might upset most parents and children. Determining which material is appropriate and which may cross a line is a matter between the public and advertisers, not politicians desperate for sexy wedge issues.

For more information, please visit www.BeverlyHillsPhysicians.com or call 800-788-1416. BHP can also be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/beverlyhillsphysicians.

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