Everyone feels insecure about themselves when they hear negative comments about their body, even those who seem as if they can’t possibly ever feel that way, like Kim Kardashian.
On a recent episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Kardashian opened up about what it feels like to have your body judged publicly.
Unedited photos of the reality star in a bikini went viral online and when responding to the incident, she revealed that her self-esteem has plunged over the years. “You take pictures and people just body shame you,” Kardashian said. “It’s like literally giving me body dysmorphia.”
Body dysmorphia is a very real mental health condition. People seem to self-diagnose the illness when they feel self-conscious about their bodies, but the truth is that everyone feels insecure about their appearance to an extent. It’s similar to how there’s a difference between being sad and being depressed or feeling stressed and having anxiety. There is a difference between self-consciousness and body dysmorphia.
Those who suffer from body dysmorphia think about their perceived flaws for hours upon hours every day. It causes a train of negative thoughts and may even lead to the individual to isolate themselves out of fear of others noticing their flaws. The defect may even be nonexistent, but the person suffering sees the defect as severe.
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, body dysmorphic disorder is classified as a type of obsessive compulsive disorder and it affects 1 in 50 people in the United States.
It’s difficult to tell with just the episode alone if Kardashian is really suffering or is just feeling hurt and insecure from all the negative comments she receives. While negative judgements may make the mental illness worse, it usually isn’t a trigger. Doctor Hildebrandt, chief of the Division of Eating and Weight Disorders at Mount Sinai Health System, says that those suffering from body dysmorphic disorder, often times have obsessive-compulsive tendencies in other parts of their life.
It isn’t appropriate to use body dysmorphia as slang just like it’s inappropriate to use OCD, depression and anxiety as slang. Everyone has moments of staring at their crooked teeth in the mirror a little too long or pinching the fat on their thighs, but those who allow these insecurities to completely control their lives need to get that mental health issue addressed.