Cancer Patients’ Extreme Makeovers Let Them To Forget Their Illness ‘If Only For A Second’

The sea­son of giv­ing can be an unseem­ly time for non­prof­its. As New Year’s approach­es, every char­i­ta­ble insti­tu­tion down in Char­i­ta­ble Insti­tu­tionville must bang its tar-tin­ker and blow its hoo-hoover, in hope of dona­tions.

No doubt they’re all deserv­ing, but the onslaught of requests can leave sup­port­ers feel­ing a bit Grinchy. When that hap­pens, I rec­om­mend the video above, which doc­u­ments a hoax of Borat-like pro­por­tions. The per­pe­tra­tor is the Mimi Foun­da­tion, a Bel­gium-based group that offers psy­cho­log­i­cal coun­sel­ing, beau­ty treat­ments, and hair­style tips to peo­ple with can­cer.

The unsus­pect­ing vic­tims? Twen­ty can­cer patients who took it on good faith that they were being treat­ed to stan­dard makeovers, the sort of pro­fes­sion­al artistry that cre­ates an illu­sion of health, what many think pass­es for nor­mal­cy. All the Mimi Foun­da­tion asked for in return was that the recip­i­ents keep their eyes closed as the mag­ic was being worked.

Mean­while, pho­tog­ra­ph­er Vin­cent Dixon crouched behind a one-way mir­ror, poised to cap­ture each sit­ters’ reac­tion to his or her trans­for­ma­tion.

One does­n’t want to say too much. The end results are not what you think, unless you were think­ing of one of those over-the-top bizarre Amer­i­ca’s Next Top Mod­el pho­to chal­lenges.

Dixon’s images record the shock and invol­un­tary spon­tane­ity. The video, called “If Only for a Sec­ond, shows those ini­tial respons­es blos­som­ing into …well, let’s just say the Mimi Foun­da­tion, assist­ed by a pha­lanx of styl­ists, achieved their goal.

H/T Alan Gold­wass­er

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Come­di­an Tig Notaro’s “Tru­ly Great” Can­cer Stand-up Set Now Avail­able on Louis C.K.’s Web­site

Life in 4,748 Self-Por­traits

Ayun Hal­l­i­day’s heart grew three sizes today. Fol­low her @AyunHallliday

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