I love a good train wreck as much as the next girl. There’s something about My Strange Addiction that you just can’t look away from. Anyway, I think there is a line between lifestyle and free choice and dangerous obsession that will hurt you. Of course, TLC has no idea where this line is and is not afraid to let everyone know it.
The most recent episode I saw had two women on it. One drank paint (pictured). The other enjoyed role playing that she was a pony. No one seems to see that there is a startling difference between the two. The woman who was pony playing was a rather well-adjusted woman who just had an unusual hobby. She is still living a normal, happy life, she just likes to put on bits and bridles and prance around sometimes.
The other woman is doing something compulsively that can cause damage to her body and could possibly even kill her if she aspirated it. A doctor told her of the potential health problems that she would face if she didn’t stop. Clearly, this is not a hobby that you need to continue when it is actively doing your body and could possibly kill you. Another episode I saw on Netflix had a woman who was drinking gasoline, another who tanned for hours and hours every single day and never used sun protection. These women could get sick and die from their activities. It is dangerous.
But like the ponyplay woman, there was another episode about girls who liked to dress up as dolls. The dolly models were all normal, well-adjusted girls who just liked a certain style of dress and look. They felt comfortable and happy when they were dressed in their dresses and wigs. They felt like their authentic selves in their style of dress. So why should anyone be telling them to stop?
If a girl feels self-assured and comfortable in skinny jeans and a ruffly top, society will rush to tell her that she’s an amazing and wonderful person. If that same girl decides that she wants to dress a little differently or put on gloves, suddenly it’s a problem and she needs to go to a therapist and deal with her issues. Really, people?
Part of the episode on the “living dolls”, as they were dubbed, focused on one girl, Luna Lovely. At one point in the episode she sits in front of a mirror after getting out of bed, without any of her makeup or wigs on, and declares that she looks like “poop”. But how many women would say the same thing if someone asked them to look in the mirror the first thing in the morning? It’s not as if Luna thinking that she didn’t look good, straight out of bed, no makeup or her hair done, is anything really extraordinary.
There’s nothing wrong with being weird. There’s nothing wrong with finding beauty or meaning in something that the rest of the population has declared strange. Being happy is so difficult in this day and age. If someone finds something that makes them happy and has no negative effects on their health (for example, it won’t fucking kill them), then who has the authority to tell them to stop?
These people who enjoy odd things have undoubtedly already heard that their passion is weird or strange or that they’re a freak and dangerous. But their interest persists. If the goal in life is to please other people, then they absolutely need help. But it isn’t. Trying to please other people is the quickest way to make yourself miserable.
When it really comes down to is, everyone needs to seize whatever bit of happiness they can find, provided that it doesn’t hurt anyone else. Life is always there to make you miserable, throw you curve balls, and knock you off course. You need to find a way to make yourself happy to make life worth living. Even if it is weird to other people.
But what I’m really trying to say is, don’t drink paint. It will fucking kill you.