James Weir on MAFS: Why Tracey can’t stop licking lips
A LOT of people tell me a lot of crap when it comes to Married At First Sight.
I receive late-night emails detailing complex fan theories, tweets offering considered and level-headed opinions about contestants' poor outfit choices and snide comments from my barista about how my job is a total joke. It's hard to keep up.
At some point, a reader got in touch after I Photoshopped a thoughtful collage showing all the times contestant Tracey Jewel excessively licks her lips on the series.
This reader informed me the reason Tracey keeps sticking her tongue out is because her inner-lip mucosa has been curled out and enhanced so much that it now faces the outside.
The mucosa, I was told, is supposed to stay moist - and that's why Tracey keeps licking it.
This reasoning sounded incredibly rational so I assumed the reader was some kind of plastic surgeon and filed the anecdote away next to the comments about poor outfit choices and then I probably ate a Twirl.
To be honest, I completely forgot about the logical-sounding explanation until Tracey's lip licking became the topic of conversation during a segment on The Kyle & Jackie O Show this morning which prompted me to confidently spout the information about mucosa as if I was the plastic surgeon responsible for The Human Ken Doll.
"She didn't just get fillers apparently ... they've folded her lip out so much that the inner-mucosa of the lip is now exposed and usually in life that should be lubricated," I informed Kyle and Jack, not entirely sure I'd remembered the information correctly but powering on anyway. "So now her body's sending messages to her brain saying, 'Lick your lips, your mucosa's dry!'.
It's at this point Kyle may have made comparisons to a baboon's self-lubricating anus and I may have said something about Lucas' Papaw Ointment.
Moments after informing everyone about Tracey's inner-lip mucosa, a story appeared on another website quoting my maybe-it's-accurate-maybe-it's-not claims. And moments after that, my editor launched a surprise attack on me wanting to know how I'd managed to get scooped on my own story by another site.
Anticipating some kind of legal letter from a team of lawyers acting on behalf of Tracey's lip mucosa, I promptly reached out to Dr Mary Dingley at Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia to verify the medical facts. And she smacked my complex yet logical explanation down immediately.
"I think it's just a habit," Dr Dingley shrugged in an email.
But what about my screenshots? Will it help if I say mucosa again?
Dr Dingley would not budge.
"There is a surgical procedure called a vermilionectomy which excises the dry red part of the lip (the vermilion) and then the wet red part (mucosa) is brought forward to meet the white edge and sewn there. This is done when there is a lot of sun damage on, usually, the lower lip," she explained. "If anything, this tends to make the lip smaller as it tends to get pulled back towards the inside of the mouth."
Ultimately, Dr Dingley said Tracey's lip licking is just a habit. And then I think she reported me to the Australian Medical Association.
"Licking the lips is a habit which tends to be self-perpetuating, as the lips become drier through the licking, stimulating more licking," she said.
For more plastic surgery advice - and any other general medical guidance - contact me on Twitter. I operate in my living room Tuesdays and Thursdays.