Are you worried about how you look? How much time per day do you spend thinking about how you look? What part of your body do you want to change? Do you think you are not thin enough? Has the way you look affected your life?
My name is Leigh de Vries and I have a condition called Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).
BDD is a disabling preoccupation with perceived defects or flaws in ones appearance.
As a life time sufferer of BDD I have always believed myself to be severely deformed. In Dec 2014 I collaborated with make-up artist Shaune Harrison who created a prosthetic tumour that covered one side of my face, giving birth to the monster I perceived myself to be.
Accompanied by cameramen with hidden cameras, we spent a day filming, travelling on public transport and walking the streets, documenting my feelings of isolation and people’s reaction to my grotesque appearance.
Based on my personal experience of BDD I want to educate people about the condition, as well as reach a wider audience of professionals.
In addition to raising awareness I hope that my own exposure might help other sufferers to recognise and get help for this little-known and often misunderstood condition.
On a personal level, the project to date has been extremely helpful in my own recovery. It gave me something to focus on. Knowing that I had the potential to help other people in the process has brought me allot of joy.
** The piece is currently shown as a short film. I am very excited to announce that it will be included at the BDD Foundation Conference in London on the 30th May 2015.