Close your eyes for a minute and picture yourself. What do you look like? How do you describe yourself? Are you critical of yourself? Do you love yourself? Are you accurate in your description or is your view of yourself distorted? Too often we are hypercritical of ourselves and describe ourselves with a distorted image. If you have ever walked through one of those rooms at the fair filled with mirrors that distorts your figure, then you know exactly what I’m referring to! This is how people with Body Dysmorphia picture themselves on a daily basis, no trick mirrors involved, just complete conviction that their body looks a way that is not real. We have all pinpointed and magnified dark circles, big nose, crooked teeth, wide hips, etc. etc. This would be normal to find something to dislike on yourself. Healthy would be to accept it and to continue with your day and life despite those things. Body Dysmorphia intensifies their magnification until it is a distorted image that impairs their daily functioning.
With this image we can easily see how magnification creates distortion of the image. It is very difficult to convince the brain of someone with body dysmorphia this distortion is not real when they clearly are seeing a distorted image. The longer the distorted image is stared at and talked about the neural pathways within the brain become stronger creating a false truth. The magnification occurs through frequent body-checks (looking at a specific body part or area every time they pass a mirror, often 10+ times per day). The body-checking is accompanied by negative self-talk (“you’re so disgusting” “your nose is huge” etc.). If the magnification were removed the image would no longer appear distorted, not because something changed or was fixed, but because the reality behind the magnification is still there…no distortion.
This video portrays this magnification vs. reality process in a powerful and moving way. ::WARNING:: this is a tear-jerker!
What was your reaction to this film?
Think about your reaction…how has this struck you personally? It is critical to realize the power behind your self-image or your perspective of yourself. How do you experience yourself? How does that impact your daily functioning? Is your magnification limiting your life and your potential? Is your self-perspective isolating you? Is it causing depression, anxiety, disordered eating, substance use, or anger issues? What is the reality behind the magnification? How would someone else describe you? Do the two perspectives match up? Whose perspective is the truth? This video is so powerful because words from another person never stick with us as truth over our own perspective, but a picture…two images created from two different perspectives… is undeniable.
Magnification is Distorted Perspective.
My hopes with this blog is to help you go behind the eyes and into the mind of someone with body dysmorphia. It is difficult for one to look at a beautiful person and comprehend how they see “fat, big, wide, ugly, etc.” My goal is for you to know their perspective becomes their truth through repetition. My goal is for those with body dysmorphia to know that there is hope out there to change your magnified perspective to see the reality of your beauty. My goal is for you to find the desire to find the courage to seek help, to break the magnifying glass that keeps you distorted and holds you back from experiencing yourself as a beautiful and capable creation.
There is help. There is a much different reality awaiting you.
#BodyImageRevolution #NoBodyShame #BeYou