Reflections on Magic Mike, the Comfort Zone, and the Concept of YOLO

I originally was going to use a picture from the movie, but realized they were all too inappropriate… (image via

I had to debate whether or not I should write this post. I ended up making a pros v. cons list – pros: I can start a cycle of reflecting about every movie I see on my blog, I can share my thoughts about a somewhat important societal issue, I can include a picture of Channing Tatum on my blog, cons: college admissions officers might see this and doubt my innocence/how well I spend my time.

Well, the pros won.

I’ll keep my thoughts on the movie short, as I’m no professional film reviewer. I found Magic Mike entertaining, but not superbly scintillating or tantalizing – although, yes, the men were moderately attractive. I didn’t enjoy the the plot or the character development. The plot veered and twisted in directions that cut short its overall development, leaving me with no climax and just generally unfulfilled. The movie tried to focus on certain characters, and I could discern which characters were the center of the story, yet all of them remained static with the exception of Mike. I gave it 2/5 stars on Rotten Tomatoes.

Now, onto the bigger picture. In the movie, the character Alex Pettyfer plays (can’t even remember the guy’s name) decides to become a stripper at the club Mike works at. He figures, well, I’m young, and this is a way to get cash, so, why not? In other words, he utilized YOLO.

I’m going to spoil the movie in a minor way now. If you plan on watching Magic Mike, consider yourself warned – honestly, it’s not that big of a deal.

The character AP plays does well at the club for a little while, then gets hooked on drugs. He loses a stash his friend sold him, landing him in 10K debt. Mike has to pay it off for him. At the end of the movie, there is no indication as to whether the character AP plays is still addicted, but one can assume that he is.

Now I shall transition to some psychology before pulling everything into the big picture. According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, our physiological needs and our need for safety trumps all the other needs above it. This is true – you can’t develop self-esteem if you starve and die beforehand.

As humans, we all have this imaginary comfort zone around this, protecting us from doing things we are… uncomfortable with, to put it bluntly. You always hear people say “go outside your comfort zone! Expand your horizons!” Which, while appropriate in some cases, is not always the smartest thing to attempt.

See, the character AP plays went outside his comfort zone. He figured, I need money, I like women, might as well become a stripper! And there is nothing inherently wrong with such a statement, I suppose, but here’s the thing: there are so many risks associated with it. Not just to his self-esteem and his mental health, but to his safety, which, as we all know, is a fundamental aspect of the human being. He did drugs. Drugs are bad for the body. He ended up owing his dealer a ton of money, and he could have gotten beaten up and killed if Mike hadn’t paid that off for him. Bad, bad, bad.

Should prostitution be legal? Sure, women and men have the right to use their bodies however they want. I understand that. And yet, although there is nothing wrong with that train of thought, there are so many things that could go wrong. Prostitutes could become drugged, beaten, or stolen. They could catch sexually transmitted diseases. They could become addicted to the lifestyle and not find their way out into a more prosperous setting. I’m not saying that all of these things will occur – they just have a higher chance of happening, if one were to place themselves in that position.

A censored Cyanide and Happiness comic. Please pardon the blood.

You only live once. I don’t have a problem with YOLO being an excuse for certain behaviors, but there is a clear line as to when it simply becomes stupid. Allow me to provide examples…

This is when it’s okay.

This is when it’s not okay. Obviously, these are all fake. Obviously.

Either way, can’t YOLO be considered a warning to the wise? As in, you only live once, so try not to mess things up. As in, you only live once, so second chances are hard to come by. As in, you only live once, so make the most of it.




Filed under Movies, Society

2 responses to “Reflections on Magic Mike, the Comfort Zone, and the Concept of YOLO

  1. Ahh…I totally agree with the last thing about YOLO! It’s exciting to see that someone else thinks along the same lines as me. I prefer to believe that for the more harmful life decisions, YOLO is the defense for being intelligent and thinking about the consequences before you act; however, I do agree with you about using it for the less life threatening things. I don’t ever actually use it to begin with but ranting to someone about it now that it’s become overblown and out of control is nice. xD

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