Video Review: TLC “Unpretty”

As T-Boz. Chili and Left Eye walk into the wellness center. A robotic female voice tells them to “enter security access code.” They hold hands as the robotic voice tells them, “systems accessed. Activate.” A blast of light shines through a circle.

They mediate on their floating platforms while the television screens flash behind them. One of the screen reads “Probe Search.” The drone flies out of the center. It hovers around Chili as she sits with her boyfriend at the computer.

Left Eye waves a flag as she, Chili and T-Boz stand in a field of magenta flowers.

Chili and her boyfriend visit the website for Sunshine Medical Surgery Group. A young woman looks through a magazine. Chili’s boyfriend enlarges the woman’s chest on screen. She makes the breasts smaller. He enlarges them again. She says “okay” and he kisses her on the cheek. The young woman puts her head on a skinny body on her wall and binges on some food in a container in her bedroom.

Chili stuffs her bra as she sits at the computer. The young woman cries and puts the container back under bed. Chili walks into the Sunshine Medical Surgery Group and signs in at reception. She sits in the waiting room. The young woman vomits in the bathroom. The drone follows Chili as she walks down the hallway with the doctor. In the operating room, she sees a scared second young woman next to her. In her hospital gown, Chili runs out of the center. The young woman rips off the model’s on her bedroom wall. She puts on her favorite bodysuit. Chili kicks her boyfriend out of her room.

Rating: 5/5

It was past the 48 hour notice. Chili shuts off her computer. Knowing she was facing back problems with her new breasts freaked her out. She didn’t want any health issues, just her boyfriend to like her more. While on the phone with her boyfriend, she tells him she’s nervous and isn’t sure about it. He tells her it’s not that bad and it’ll be over in about an hour. She asks him to be there for her. He says he’s busy with a pick-up basketball game with his friends.

Her mom tells her she doesn’t have to do it. She’s beautiful just as she is. Chili says she’d like her chest to be bigger and it’d make her feel better. Her mom offers to go with her. Chili grabs her keys and says she can do it on her own. A third young woman sits next to her in the waiting room and tells him it’s her fourth surgery with the center. She says the breast surgery is really easy. However, the cheek surgery was painful. However, she needs to get some fat out of her belly. She asks her why she’s there. She says for her breasts. The third young woman tells her she’ll be satisfied.

As she sits in the operating room, she notices a second young woman giving her a worried look. Chili guesses she had to be about seventeen years old. The nurse closes the curtain. Chili wanted to be there for her. She walks out of the hospital room and puts her hands on the window of the second young woman’s room. A nurse tells her she has to get back into her room. She shouts “no!” and grabs her clothes.

Her boyfriend sighs when he sees her and says her chest is the exactly the same. She tells him he’s not worth it and rather make the decision for herself than for him. Her boyfriend scoffs and says she was excited about it. She tells him it’s over and she doesn’t ever want to see him again. He shrugs as he leaves. Chili smiles as she looks in the mirror.

Director: Paul Hunter Year: 1999

Pam Avoledo Administrator
Pam Avoledo spends her time binge-watching classic teen dramas and stands firm in her pro-Leyton stance. She also received her journalism degree in 2006 from Oakland University. Her work has been published in the White Wall Review, Sledgehammer Lit , Greatest City Collective & 45 Magazine and forthcoming in Daily Drunk Mag\'s Kristofia anthology.