Body dysmorphia – a mental disorder characterized by the obsessive idea that some of one’s own body part or appearance is severely flawed and warrants exceptional measures to hide or fix their dysmorphic part on their person.
Now, I’m not a professional, nor do I think I have body dysmorphia. I haven’t been to a doctor about it so I don’t want to self diagnose myself. I’ve researched this quite a bit and I see how it can affect people’s lives. I did a poll on Twitter asking you guys what you wanted to see me talk about, and this topic was the most requested one. Since I’m not an expert, I’m going to tell you how I relate to this mental illness.
For starters, I’m a 20 year old girl. I’m 5’6 and I weigh roughly around 100 pounds. Pretty average. Except for the fact that I should weigh more. Every time I go to the doctor they tell me I need to gain more weight. “Put some meat on those bones”, as my grandma would say. I don’t want to gain weight though. In reality, I want to lose weight.
I know I’m not fat, but when I look in the mirror, I don’t see what I want to see. Most of the time, I wear a small, sometimes even an extra small. My legs are long so with jeans and leggings I’m a medium. So by no means am I overweight. Also, I have a really fast metabolism. This only adds to the problem. I don’t see myself in the same way everybody else sees me. I don’t see skinny. I see stomach fat and bloat. Yes, you can see my rib cage when I’m laying down, but I don’t think that’s good enough. People say they envy my skinny body, but I don’t see what’s to envy.
The two parts of my body I focus too much on are my thighs and stomach. I personally think my thighs are way too big, even though clearly I have a thigh gap. In my mind, I’m not seeing what everybody else is.
I’ve noticed it gets worse after I get into a depressed slump. During these times, I hardly eat. I have to force myself to eat. I’ll go days without eating healthy. That’s when everything starts to go downhill fast. I start to get acne again. Once I get all those red dots sent by Satan on my face, I don’t wanna go out in public. In order to go out in public and not feel extremely insecure, I put makeup on. If you know me, you know I don’t particularly like wearing makeup. I touch my face way too much for that and I’m just not good at it in general. It’s a talent I don’t have. So then I feel like I did it all wrong and everybody is going to be judging me. You can see the train wreck this is turning into.
I constantly find myself comparing how I look to other girls. I always think everybody looks better than me. I don’t mean to, but it just happens. Sometimes I don’t buy certain clothes because I’m scared I’ll look awkward or ugly.
I’ve felt this way for years now, and it freaking sucks. It just downright sucks. But I can tell you all reading this one thing, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL. I can tell you from my experience hating myself everyday is that you don’t need to. Look at yourself every morning and tell yourself that you are beautiful and worth it.
When I was reading about this topic, one sentence really stuck out to me. “The flaw may be minor or imagined”. You might not even have this flaw, but your brain keeps telling you that it’s there and it’s a huge problem. Most of the time it’s all in your head. I know it’s all in my head, but it still gets to me sometimes. I’m working on loving myself each day. I want to step out of my comfort zone sometimes and get out there more. I’m tired of letting my insecurities hold me back.
One day, I’m going to love myself. Insecurities, scars and everything else that comes with me being me. Somedays are better than others, but at the end of the day I’m still myself. You only get one body on this earth so you might as well take care of it and learn to love it. One day, I’m going to be 100% confident in my body.
Body dysmorphia symptoms:
- Avoiding mirrors/not wanting picture taken.
- Wearing certain types of clothing.
- Thoughts about appearance.
- Not going out/waiting until night.
- Emotional problems, thoughts of suicide, depression.
- Excessive exercising.
- It affects both genders, not just females.