Have you seen a picture of your body from two years ago and thought “wow, my body was so fit and amazing”, however, at that time you didn’t think so and would found fault in all areas. That is Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD)! Or when you look in the mirror and see a skinny girl with sadness when in fact, your body is thick and healthy. That is Body Dysmorphic Disorder! BDD is a mental health condition where a person worries about their appearance and flaws. These flaws are usually not noticeable to others.
I’m sure you are wondering, what if I’m just insecure? And yes, that’s a valid question. There can be confusion between BDD and low self-esteem. BDD is characterized by being overly preoccupied with your flaws. It’s more extensive because the individual can be affected to the point of inability to function normally. it will have an impact on their emotional, social educational, or occupational welfare. Their behaviours will develop into obsessive actions such as checking their appearance 100 times throughout the day.
So how do you spot it? The symptoms of BDD are constantly worrying about certain areas of your body, comparing yourself to other people, avoiding mirrors or always looking into the mirror, finding ways to conceal your flaws e.g. baggy clothing, apply too much makeup, hairstyles which hide your face and self-harm. This disorder can lead to further mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. BDD isn’t considered an eating disorder, however, it can trigger anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or binge eating as it has to do with appearance. One might feel the need to eat more or less depending on what they are struggling with.
Vast studies have been conducted to get to the root of BDD, the causes are not specifically known. However, they can be associated with:
• Traumatic life experiences such as teasing, bullying, and abuse. These experiences could have taken place at any point.
• Genetics – having relatives with a history of BDD or obsessive-compulsive disorder.
• A chemical imbalance in the brain (usually associated with anxiety or depression).
• Unrealistic societal pressures or expectations of beauty standards.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder can be life-changing. It can steal joy and prevent one from living their best life. A person needs to have confidence in their self to feel good and overcome fears. Therefore, treatment is a must and seeking help get one to a place of good health. It is recommended that you visit a GP and from there you will be transferred to the appropriate specialist.
These are some of the different treatments that may be given to someone diagnosed with BDD:
1. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
At the beginning of therapy, you will discuss goals and what you’d like to achieve from the session. CBT will help you change your mindset. Therefore, change how you think and behave. The therapist will help you identify triggers. You will then be given strategies on how to deal with the trigger and habits. It won’t be easy as it entails exposing emotions and feelings you might not want to confront. If you are a minor family therapy can be included, so that parents are well aware of the root of the problem.
2. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs)
SSRI’s are a type of antidepressant. Antidepressants are effective if used correctly. One must be monitored when on them. It takes about 12 weeks to the medication to have an impact on your symptoms. You will take to take them for months before coming off. Nevertheless, coming off SSRIs has to be done slowly by the reduction of the dose. This is done to prevent withdrawal symptoms as it can be a side effect of stopping abruptly.
Body Dysmorphic Disorder is actually quite common, many celebrities experience it. Kim Kardashian as admitted to BDD and has had numerous surgeries to ‘fix’ what she didn’t like. Michael Jackson is one of the biggest celebrities in recent history to suffer from BDD going to extreme measure to change the colour of his skin from black to white. And in South Africa we have seen an increasing trend of celebrities like Khanyi Mbau also bleaching their skin, this is also BDD.
Having a disorder such as Body Dysmorphic Disorder can take away from you. We all deserve to live full lives centered on fulfilling our purpose. We all deserve to be happy and comfortable in our skin because at the end of the day, the body we have is ours to keep forever. If you are dealing with this disorder, we want you to know that you are worthy, valued, loved, and appreciated.
The time that most of us dread and very few of us enjoy has finally hit our hemisphere, winter. There are very few things to enjoy about this weather really; early nights spent mostly indoors, dry skin, chapped lips that sometimes crack, often dry and ashy elbows, the list is endless. But like most things designed by our mother nature, everything has an equally recurring opposite.
Fortunately for us, there are several developed methods that one can adopt to assist in taking the best care of our skin as seasons reach an inevitable change. Part of these methods may be used to focus on our facial regimen. Just like most parts of a woman’s body, adopting a regimen for any part of our body is helpful for creating a much needed and helpful routine, that match the season and the impact that comes along with it.
Our focus during this cold and harsh season should be on being active and consistent with hydrating our skin as much and as often as possible. Unlike summer, colder weather actually strips the body of its natural moisture, which means the doubling on moisturizing is required to keep your skin in its natural moisturized and hydrated state. In most parts of South Africa during winter, we experience direct shine from the sun with clear skies but cooler winds and temperatures. In the Western and some parts of the Southern regions of the country that experience a Mediterranean climate, conditions are cold, rainy, and windy. However, taking care of our skin and adopting a weather-adjusted regimen should be a priority to both conditions.
How to keep your face glowing during the winter season:
- Wash your face: winter is no different to summer when it comes to cleansing your face at least twice a day. But for different reasons, we wash our face purely because water (warm) opens up our pores and softens the skin. The skin easily absorbs and product that is applied after this process. A cleansing foam wash (Cetaphil) works well with winter; it’s mild and gentle on the skin, retaining some of your natural moisture. There’s an acne- prone range as well.
- Switch up your moisturizing products or habits: as mentioned you need to double up on moisturizing, especially if you are going to be headed outdoors. It is essential to use a product that will help retain moisture. A thicker or heavy face cream is suitable. However, if you suffer from acne-prone skin you might want to consider purchasing a matting crème first like Skinoren, then apply your moisturizer after it has matted your face.
- Sunscreen of 50 SPF: the winter sun is as harsh as the sun can get. It’s unforgiving and can cause a lot of damage to one’s skin. Direct contact with the sun should be avoided and sunscreen should be worn all the time. Simply mix this with your moisturizing crème and you’re good to go!
- Take advantage of that face mask: face masks never disappoint, they are great for throughout the year. Picking a face mask that works for the season could really enhance your glow. For example, it is advised to refrain from using masks that leave the skin feeling dry or stretched. Use masks that contain serums. Also DIY masks are useful. An example of these are:
- 2 tbsp of honey + 1 tsp of cinnamon (for clearing acne)
- 2 tbsp of Greek or plain yoghurt + 1 tbsp of oatmeal (for a deep pore cleanse)
- 2 tbsp of aloe vera gel + 1 tsp of turmeric (for oily skin)
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil + ¼ of turmeric (for healthy skin).
- 5. Drink that water: hydration is key for excellent looking skin. It gets harder to consuming water during winter, but even waking up to a cup of lukewarm water and lemon is an amazing treat for your skin. But water assists in replenishing your skin, keeping it youthful.
- 6. Exercise your body: training during this weather helps your body circulate blood. The circulation of blood is essential as it gives your skin oxygen. Your skin needs oxygen in as much as it needs sweat to give it that extra ounce of glow and softness. Training indoors is just as efficient as training outdoors, just make sure to break a sweat. Your body needs it!
Check out our next article on easy home-friendly ways to break a sweat for more!
- 7. Lastly don’t forget to eat right: consume foods that are extra nutritious, green, and that hydrate, especially if you struggle with consuming enough water. Fruits are a great scapegoat way of eating your water; such fruits include watermelon and grapes. Add more food with fiber to your diet for those essential vitamins!
Repeat this daily and weekly (face masks) and you’re all set for a glowing, healthy-looking winter face!
MOVIE/BOOK TITLE: NEVER HAVE I EVER
CAST/CHARACTERS: MAITREYI RAMAKRISHNAN, POORNA JAGANNATHAN, RICHA MOORJANI
DIRECTOR: MICHAEL FIGMOGNARI
AUTHOR: MINDY KALING, LANG FISHER
NETFLIX RELEASE DATE: 27 APRIL 2020
GIRLBOSS RATING: 8/10
Vera Mindy Chokalingam also is known as Mindy Kaling is a comedian, actress, and writer. She is known as the second-generation American-Indian creator. She wrote, produced, and acted in the medical comedy, The Mindy Project. This girl boss has achieved greatness in her career and wanted to showcase her personal life. She felt that when she was growing up there wasn’t enough representation of South Asian families on American media and wanted to change that reality. And she did that with “Never Have I Ever” the new Netflix series about coming of age. And yes, it’s based on some of Mindy’s upbringing.
Devi (Maitreyi Ramakrishnan) is a high school sophomore who is super smart and funny. She is seen as an uncool girl because she doesn’t conform to the rules of a typical high school learner which entails partying, drinking, cheerleading, etc. She stays with her mother and her cousin Kamala (Richa Moorjani). Devi is also battling with grief as her dad passed away. She suppresses her emotions and this leads to a lot of mischiefs. Devi is trying to figure out how to live in a modern American world and still respect her Indian culture. Trying to come to terms with her “Indianness”. Devi also has to deal with pressure from her mother. As her mother is trying to raise her on her own, you can see the frustrations throughout the series.
What we think about it? A lot of coming of age series have the same plot, and that’s the case with this series. A nerd having the biggest crush on the jock who is too cool for school. Although I am post-high school (and post-varsity) I still find such series interesting. I enjoy the typical chick-flick. So, if you are tired of the same storyline then this series isn’t for you.
The series also gives us insight into Indian culture, especially the Hindu culture. This is what I gathered:
• Indians pray for important objects such as school books. Once something is prayed for, it can’t be disrespected. In one of the scenes a chemistry textbook has been blessed by their family pandit, however, after it was thrown out the window it would have to be blessed again.
• I learned that dress code is very strict, females aren’t allowed to wear clothing that reveals their shoulders e.g. there is a scene where Desi is dancing with her friends as they create content for TikTok, she is wearing a red strappy dress and her mom tell her to change and wear a white t-shirt underneath the dress.
• Arranged marriages are still the norm in this day and age. And Hindu women are expected to behave a certain way e.g. there is a scene which focuses on Desi’s mother trying to make her cousin the perfect Bahu (daughter-in-law). So she definitely needs to know how to cook their traditional dishes.
Mindy Kaling highlights how Generation Z and Generation X might clash when discussing culture. However, I do feel the culture is a tad bit exaggerated in a negative way or maybe the writer wanted to highlight how oppressive it can be? I guess you’ll have to decide for yourself.
Why 8/10? The series had my attention, it refreshing watching a show based on a culture different to mine. It’s also very rare to see an Indian young girl get a lead role in what could be a hit show. The series had funny moments and Desi’s character is likable because she raw and questions everything that surrounds her.