As I stared in the mirror, spreading makeup to hide the red spots on my skin and dark brown craters around my eyes, I tried to melt the insecurities away with rage behind my eyes.
Looking at my body, I realize I didn’t fit the body that was being marveled at since I was young. Instead the weight caused me to feel as if I was disposable to the world.
Staring in that mirror, I thought about what I could do different to have the perfect body again. Through my pity, I decided to take control the only way I knew how. I decided to limit my food intake and workout when I could.
As I counted every calorie and worked out with what strength I had, I realized the fewer calories I ate, the more my body shaped into the star body I wanted. So I cut back, I only allowed myself 500-800 calories a day.
The more calories I cut from my diet, the more I felt in control.
We at Scroll recognize that this issue may be applicable to those suffering from body dysmorphia or body image problems. We believe in helping and loving others and ourselves through the difficulties of self-esteem issues and image problems.
According to the International OCD Foundation, Body Dysmorphic Disorder affects 1.7% to 2.9% of the general population—about one in 50 people. This means more than 5 to 10 million people in the United States alone have BDD.
It’s possible that BDD may be even more common than this because people with this disorder are often reluctant to reveal their BDD symptoms to others. Symptoms can range from obsession over physical features or appearance, a belief that one has an abnormality or defect in appearance, frequently looking in mirrors, avoiding pictures and social situations and extreme self-consciousness.
“This mental image is a driving force in eating disorders, not to mention mood conditions like severe anxiety and even depression,” said Psychology Today. “In the midst of this angst, we forget that the body has utility; bodies get us from point A to point B, after all.”
My days became draining, thinking of food every minute and how to get past the hunger. I knew that if I continued down this path, I would destroy myself.
In the documentary “Killing Us Softly,” Jean Kilbourne, speaker, writer and activist of women’s image, deconstructs the subconscious messages in food and body image-related advertisements. She describes how they create a “toxic cultural environment” that harms our relationship with what we eat.
Through the many food advertisements mixed with ads showcasing supermodels with perfect bodies, we are subjecting ourselves to delusion. Thinking that we are too fat no matter what we weigh.
Eventually, I lost weight, but to the expense of losing my identity. Every day I stepped on the scale, stared in the mirror and clenched the fat between my two fingers. I wished to be happy.
One day, after fainting for the third time that week, I realized it became too much. I sat on the floor of my bathroom and felt the damage I inflicted. I felt the emotions I hid from everyone, but especially from myself.
That day, I let myself cry in order to heal.
We can change how we look, we can change everything about ourselves but if we do not love ourselves, then no change can make us feel better.
It’s never easy to love yourself and I still struggle to realize this but I’m fighting for the time I accept myself.