Tuesday, May 18, 2010

MTV's True Life

While there are plenty episodes of MTV's True Life that are more entertaining than educational, from time to time there are a few that really give the viewer a glimpse of the struggles that some people go through.

The following three episodes are ones that I felt reflected various forms of body modification. Whether one hates the ink scribed in their skin for life, the surgical alterations to their body or the image that greets them in the mirror on a daily basis, these are all results of a personal choice. Many are made on a whim or without taking into consideration the long-term effects.

I Hate My Tattoos

To be honest, I had a hard time getting through this whole episode. Larry obviously had issues to deal with, including getting wasting and thinking that is a prime opportunity to get some new ink. There are a number of reasons that this is a bad idea, and judging by the few pieces he was sporting, it should have served as evidence of such.

Ali made the unfortunate mistake of getting her fiance's name inked into her skin. Listen, I have no problem with what people want to do with their bodies, but more likely than not, the tattoo will outlast your current relationship. Yes, even I thought it would be cute to have someone's initial put on my finger [and thankfully it is covered up now], so I understand the mindset that a person could have in this kind of situation. The point is, if you are going to have a name scribed on you for the rest of your life, choose a relative or best buddy or child...or even your own. Anything is better than being angry at yourself and having to be forced to look at someone's name every day that you have only negative feelings towards.

Jayson was the biggest disappointment of the bunch. First of all, it was his girlfriend who wanted him to removed some of the more visible tattoos. Second, he already had a job, despite what it paid [money is money these days], so obviously they had no problem with his ink when they hired him. Finally, it should have been his choice as to whether or not he wanted to remove certain tattoos. Laser surgery is quite painful from what I hear, expensive [sometimes the cost can outweigh that of the tattoo being removed] and can leave nasty scars behind. Oh, and it seemed that Jayson's girlfriend was very concerned about him making more money. There is definitely other issues in the relationship than this. One should never feel they need to change to make someone else happy. True happiness begins with yourself.

Over one third of all Americans currently sport at least one tattoo. But what happens when you come to hate the markings you've permanently etched into your skin?

Larry is now sober after years of abusing drugs. He believes his ink will keep him from getting a decent job -- so Larry's mom has agreed to pay for their removal as long as he remains clean. Will Larry be able to fight his destructive urges -- or will his addictions prove too hard to overcome?

Ali was devastated when her fiance left her -- and now the sight of his name on her arm is making her skin crawl. Ali wants to get the tattoo covered up but is learning that the process isn't a simple one. Will Ali find a way to hide her ex's name -- or will she be forced to live with this painful reminder of her past?

Jayson's fiancee wants him to get his tattoos lasered off so he can land a higher paying job. But Jason is terrified of the pain involved and is having second thoughts. Can Jason endure this excruciating process so he can build a more solid future with his wife-to-be?

The mistakes of their past are indelibly inked on their bodies. Will they find a way to wipe the slate clean?

Watch this episode now: http://www.mtv.com/videos/true-life-i-hate-my-tattoos/1632057/playlist.jhtml

I Hate My Plastic Surgery

According to PlasticSurgery.org, 12.5 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2009, with about half of them being reconstructive. People age 13-19 had the least amount, while people age 40-54 make up the largest portion. Females receive 91% of all cosmetic procedures, and breast augmentation is still number one in the list of tip five procedures. Half of those are done with silicone implants.

With so many people going under the knife, eventually, something will go horrible wrong. In the case of Nikki and Amanda, they come to regret the choice of plastic surgery. In my opinion, neither of these women seemed to be overly flawed. However, I also understand that people often see something very different in the mirror than what an outside perspective can.

Nikki came across as one of those women who would never be satisfied, and the doctor even told her that there were pieces missing that had to be replaced. There is only a certain amount of times one can fix a body part before the risk grows to epic proportions.

On the other side was Amanda, who felt her breast implants were causing her to feel sick. While that has got to be quite aweful, I am glad she made the choice to take them out.

In the end, one must find beauty on the inside before that confidence can be carried on the outside. It is definitely not easy, and everyone will have an opinion of what they do or do not like. Some will even make a point of letting you know exactly what they think, and unfortunately this can be done in a very harsh, negative manner. Not everyone has a 'thick skin', and people do not stop to think that their words can have an impact on the psyche. Plastic surgery is also not the 'quick fix' to deeper problems, and should never be used as one, or surely the regrets will come quickly.

What if you underwent surgery to fix a part of your body that you didn't like and woke up with even bigger problems?

Nikki thought having a nose job would land her bigger jobs in her modeling career. But, when the surgery didn't turn out the way she wanted it to, Nikki had no where to turn than back to the drawing board -- another surgery.

For the past year, Amanda has been seriously ill. What may be the cause of her illness? Amanda thinks it all boils down to her breast implants and she plans to have them removed. Will she return to her old self after the removal?

Will Nikki and Amanda be able to feel secure, inside and out?

Watch this espisode now: http://www.mtv.com/videos/true-life-i-hate-my-plastic-surgery/1638794/playlist.jhtml

I Hate My Face

This final episode is slightly different than the first two, as it deals with Body Dysmorphic Disorder. However, I felt it was important to include, as the two individuals featured were considering plastic surgery to 'fix the flaws'.

As you watch the stories unfold, it becomes apparent that the girls really hate what they see in the mirror, and cannot understand why others see something different. One girl obsesses over every minor flaw in her face and uses a giant gem to distract people from looking at her nose. The other chooses to flaunt her body in order to keep the attention away from her face.

Surgery is definitely one of those permanent modifications to the body that carries with it numerous risks [including death] as well as a high cost, physically, mentally and emotionally speaking.

What if the very sight of your own face made you disgusted every time you looked at it? That's the case for many people who suffer from Body Dysmorphic Disorder, a mental illness that causes individuals to obsess endlessly over perceived defects in their physical features.

Watch this episode now: http://www.mtv.com/videos/true-life-i-hate-my-face/1637321/playlist.jhtml

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