Body Dysmorphia, pt 1
I have to be real here.
When I started this blog – the current version – I was at a pretty good place in my life. I’d conquered a tonne of my depression and anxiety. I’d been able to acquire a wardrobe that I loved and I was willing to learn more about blogging and blog photography. Was I perfect? No, not at all! But I was excited to have this small project and share small brands with the world and maybe meet some new people along the way. And actually, I’m very happy with this blog so far because it’s doing what it was supposed to: getting traffic to let people know about makeup and clothing brands.
So when I decided to get a complimentary Instagram account for the blog, that’s when the trouble started. Off the bat, I used “#fashionblogger” three times so my account was marked as spam, which means that I don’t appear in a lot of searches and I have to go through a weird verification process every time I want to log in. Everyone knows their algorithm sucks and that a little insane, but I could live with it. That slowed down a lot of my marketing and even though I’m not super concerned about follower count, I also am.
Obviously Instagram is a purely visual social networking site. People follow you because your pictures are visually appealing and usually have a theme. I don’t really have a theme and my photos are nothing special and I get that. By itself, I don’t mind it, and then I explore the world of Insta. I see so many beautiful and talented ladies each day and I feel like I’m constantly discovering more and more of them, and it starts to make me think,
Wow, there are so many beautiful girls out there and I’m just… not. It’s different from seeing average-looking people on the streets every day.
But what makes me really feel awful is how someone could be so beautiful that they have thousands of followers and only 3 pictures. They have fan clubs. People draw their pictures. They get tonnes of comments saying, “Gorgeous,” “so pretty,” “beautiful,” and then there’s looking at my account and not seeing any of that at all and wondering, “wow, am I really that ugly?” I can improve my photo backgrounds, my lighting, my poses, and the image quality of what I post – but I can’t change my face.
For those of you who don’t know what body dysmorphia is, it’s a mental illness that distorts someone’s features in his/her own mind and also makes the person obsessive over fixing or hiding those features. I’ve struggled with it a lot growing up, hiding my face under my hair or even under my hands so people couldn’t see me. I couldn’t look in the mirror for several years and would use small mirrors to do my makeup, so I wouldn’t have to see my whole face. It is very much an illness that affects a large part of your life and even though I’ve been doing so well, I feel myself slipping under a world of cutthroat beauty. I don’t like looking in the mirror anymore or even taking pictures. I’ve even cried once or twice looking at them and I just don’t want to go back to letting this dysmorphia affect my life.
I am OK with myself especially since I’m living a life I want to. This year, I’m going to Spain and Japan and I actually have Valentine’s Day plans for this upcoming week. I have a great job and no reason to complain.
But I have to admit that I’m really starting to struggle with my self-image and I decided to write about it because I know I’m definitely not alone.
If you’d like to talk, you can always feel free to email me since blog comments are currently closed. I will definitely post about something more uplifting next week but for now, I just wanted to get this off my chest. Until next week!