W4 Activity: I’m An Albino

Illness narratives offer an opportunity to empower the sufferer of the illness by letting them describe their own subjective experiences with the illness compared to being told what exactly they may feel.  Expression in itself is cathartic but narratives also give the patient a chance to connect to others such as friends, family, health professionals, and those who may be suffering similar symptoms.  These outside influences benefit from hearing the sensations that the sufferer may be feeling and this can lead to better understanding and also maybe treatment for the sick.  MTV’s True Life gives an opportunity for people to share narratives from specific situations, sick or not sick.  The episode I focused on was “True Life: I’m an Albino” which deals with albinism, a disease where someone is born without any pigments in their body, leading to a pale white complexion of the skin, hair and eyes,  which leads to sensitivity to the sun and extremely poor eyesight.  This episode exemplifies three different quest narratives dealing with Albinism.  Zane’s narrative involves his resolution to fit in his new college environment and excel in College Football though he looks drastically different from others.  Jennie aspires to be an accomplished actress in a business where physical appearances rule.  Finally, Zach wishes to be able to drive a car like a normal high school teenager even though his albinism has made him legally blind.  Each individual has to fight with the fact that their appearances make them outsiders in some regard, especially in the context of an appearance based society.  They deal with this by their interactions with their friends, family, and health providers as their support to continue on with their goals.  Zach with the help of an eye doctor was able to take the road test by wearing a special kind of lens attachment to his glasses to optimize his eye sight.  This perseverance is what can anchor them through tough times and with the help of understanding, these individuals can beat their condition.

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