Nearly 21 years after it first premiered, MTV's Emmy award-winning reality show, True Life, has been rebooted as True Life/Now. As one of the network's early forays into reality television, the original program gave an intimate look into the lives of young adults dealing with drug abuse, body modifications, homophobia, and much more. The first episode of the new iteration of the show, which premieres tonight, will focus on people obsessed with looking like the Kardashians.
"The Kardashians have become the idea of what beauty is," says Sheerah, a Brooklyn woman featured in the episode. "I feel pressured to have a big butt or have fake boobs because this is what society deemed as beauty."
The episode speaks to a broader trend in self-perception as it relates to culture. As reported by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, there's been a 137 percent increase in cosmetic surgeries since 2000, which experts attribute to the presence of social media in our everyday lives. While some patients come in with images of celebrities like the Kardashians, others use altered versions of themselves—created by apps like Snapchat and Facetune—as reference images for their plastic surgeons to consult.
"There's less guilt about undergoing procedures," plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Lara Devgan told Broadly in an episode of Plastic Planet. "Five or 10 years ago, people might have brought in pictures of a magazine cover supermodel. Now, they're bringing in pictures of themselves, but just in a slightly optimized way."