You are imperfect, permanently & inevitably flawed, and you are beautiful.Amy Bloom, Diary of a Debutante
To get this out of the way, this is me. This is every photo I’ve posted in the past few weeks that I wouldn’t have been comfortable posting otherwise. For me, body dysmorphia comes in waves. I could be fine before I get in the shower and manage to get some risqué photos of me in my underwear, but the minute I get out, that good moment is gone.
It’s likely that from the outside looking in, someone with body dysmorphia can be viewed as someone who is constantly comparing themselves to other people, but sometimes that’s just not the case.
For me, body dysmorphia isn’t triggered by scrolling through Instagram, it’s triggered just by looking in the mirror or by scanning my arms (see: Living With Dermatillomania (1/2)). Some days I’ll wake up with the urge to wear a bralette and high waisted shorts to the store, but before I leave my house, I’m in a big T-shirt. Other days I’ll get the idea in my head that I am going to go on that walk in my sports bra, or I am going to go swimming in public, but I end up changing plans.
For me, body dysmorphia is dismantling my closet and spending three hours on an outfit to wear outside of the house. One that doesn’t accent the flaws that I see and others don’t. One that shows just the right amount of skin without revealing my biggest insecurities.
For me, body dysmorphia is when my brain decides that I’m carrying too much weight, even though I know that every body is beautiful. It’s the good days and the bad days, and everything in between, and over the past few years, I’ve tried.
I’ve tried so hard to combat it by wearing tank tops and going out. I’ve tried so hard to leave my skin alone and just let it be, and I’ve tried even harder to not step on that scale or look in the magnifying mirror because they just make things worse.
Each step I take towards being positive about what I look like, eventually ends up as two steps back. Every good day can lead into a week of bad days. I can post and delete as many pictures as I want, but that doesn’t take away from the internal struggle that’s been occurring inside my brain. Even as I write this, I can literally feel myself holding tears back just so I can get the words out, which is why this post is so short. It’s a difficult subject to talk about, more so than my dermatillomania at this point. I just feel as though it needs to be put out there.
For me, body dysmorphia is staring at the mirror and picking apart my face when I could be watching a movie with my husband.
For me, body dysmorphia is staying up til 5am trying to figure out what to wear outside of the house the next day while scanning.
For me, body dysmorphia needs to be normalized across ALL body types, and more people need to realize that there are 200,000 yearly cases of it in the United States alone.
Body dysmorphia isn’t a trend. It’s not something you have because you don’t like the way you look in a photo. It’s something you develop as a young adult when your body starts changing. It’s something that is very real, and affects so, so many, and one day, I hope to be able to control it just a little bit better. Until then though, I’m going to keep posting bare-faced or half-naked photos on social media whenever I feel good about myself so I can look back and realize – damn, I really do have good days.
AllBee, signing off. 💗
For more info on BDD
If you’re curious if you have BDD, click here for a questionnaire created by the Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation: Do I Have BDD?
Symptoms of BDD by Help Guide: Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation: Muscle Dysmorphia & Body Image in Men