News

Research study into Body Image & Parenting

BPP University is looking for participants to take part in a short online survey investigating the influence of parenting behaviours on body image satisfaction.

If you would like to participate you can follow this link.

For more information you can contact Dr Tamara Shengelia : tamara.shengelia@bpp.com

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BDD at Christmas – Some top tips!

We know that this can be a difficult time of year if you are battling BDD, here are some tips to help you get through the season.

Beating BDD Podcast #24 – Simon Antony

We know that this can be a difficult time of year if you are battling BDD, here are some tips to help you get through the season.

Simon describes how the brutal bullying he suffered at school set him on a long journey with BDD, which culminated in a transformative stay in psychiatric hospital and writing a book about his experiences.


You can download the transcript for this episode here:

Crowdfunding – Swans Reflecting Elephants

BPP University is looking for participants to take part in a short online survey investigating the influence of parenting behaviours on body image satisfaction.

Niek Silvan, a 32 year old, who lives in Amsterdam has had BDD as long as he can remember. Two years ago he received a diagnosis and was able to access therapy. He is now channelling his experience with the condition into creativity. With this film, ‘Swans Reflecting Elephants’, he wants to portray the feeling of BDD and how a mental illness that is so invisible from the outside can destroy you completely.

“I want to give a new perspective on life, on a mental illness, on beauty and ugliness and that eventually we all have our insecurities about the way we look and are. I hope the film can help BDD to become more known for people that haven’t heard of it, and people who suffer from it, or might have it so that they get recognition”

Niek and his team have 10 days left to fund this project and need your help to raise the funds!!

Please support him by following this link and donating.

You can follow the development of this film on their Instagram page

Monki x BDD Foundation

BPP University is looking for participants to take part in a short online survey investigating the influence of parenting behaviours on body image satisfaction.

We’re teaming up with Monki to raise awareness of Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

They are supporting our petition directed at the EU Parliament calling for transparency on altered images on social media. We believe organisations, companies, and influencers should be legally required to state when images have been manipulated for paid content online.

BDD is largely overlooked and undiagnosed and it can seriously affect a person’s daily life, including work, education, social life and relationships. As a result, social anxiety, isolation and depression are very common in BDD. This is why we think it’s important that the condition receives more awareness to be able to give more information and support to the ones who need it. We know that the highest rates of BDD are seen in adolescent girls (5.6%) and the proliferation of unrealistic images being viewed by this age group is causing harm.

By signing the petition, you’re advocating for change and helping raise awareness. We see a petition calling for transparency on altered images online as vital to transparency of online representation. Your signature is crucial in driving change and making an impact.

Sign the petition now!

Spread the word by using the Monki filter!

Monki collaborated with amazing female AR artists to launch a set of purpose-driven filters that help spread the word about the petition and BDD as a condition.

Both Monki and BDD Foundation believe that these filters play a part in raising awareness on the danger of comparing ourselves with altered/unrealistic images.  The filters are not beauty filters and they do not portray an unrealistic beauty standard. Instead, they are fun and creative whilst promoting a positive message and supporting an important cause.

We hope that everyone using the filters will help promote an unfiltered/unretouched reality and be part of advocating for transparency in social media.

So please go ahead, download the filters, and join our movement for more transparency online.

Download the filters!

Why has the BDD Foundation decided to collaborate with Monki?

We see Monki as an ideal fit for a collaboration with the BDD Foundation.  As a brand, they have long-standing ethical policies around their marketing. They strive to challenge beauty norms in their casting from ethnicity to body shape and size and have championed a pioneering #NoFilter campaign. They do not airbrush out features such as stretch marks, body hair, birthmarks etc. Their body positive attitude, inclusivity and continued dedication to the cause signifies that Monki is a brand that genuinely cares about the wellbeing of their community and the BDD Foundation is proud to partner with them.

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Research study into the role of Architecture on BDD

BPP University is looking for participants to take part in a short online survey investigating the influence of parenting behaviours on body image satisfaction.

Luke Thomas is looking at the human impact of BDD through an anonymous questionnaire. He will then explore the experience of BDD through art and other abstract spatial methods. His aim is to design and create outputs that challenge people’s understanding of BDD and hopefully raise awareness.

If you would like to participate you can follow this link.

Or you can contact Luke directly: luke.thomas-4@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk

You can follow his design process via his instagram profile: @bdd_in_architecture

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Justin – The influence of nature & technology on Body Image

Justin Brass shares his experience of BDD through a thought provoking essay.

Disciplining of Men and Women’s Bodies: The Influence of Technology and Nature on Viewing Body Image

My relationship between my health and how I critique my body has been through the influence of technology and nature causes me to feel like I need to discipline myself into meeting unrealistic beauty standards. Furthermore, I have put energy into these beliefs for many years before I was diagnosed with BDD, as society regulates our reliance on the media, which perpetuates various social and traditional expectations of men and women and how they should perceive their bodies. Specifically, this process has generated a significant amount of pressure on I view my self-worth and personal value, as many young boys are exposed to the media’s scrutiny to always appear thin and in specific ways (i.e., ‘the ideal standard for how men should be’). Over time, these expectations have not only become integrated into how I use technology today but has caused me to compare myself to the artificial nature of constructed media, which teaches people to discipline their bodies into meeting conformity. Further, I have realized that our relationship with rising technologies is quite dependent, which has become a necessary component of how many of us live our lives (with or without BDD). This reliance on technology also shapes our normative culture, which is heavily influenced by the images, messages, and standards that we come into contact with throughout our regular lives. These messages are also taught to many of us through our socializing agents such as friends and family, which further perpetuate the standards of what a man or woman should look like. For example, as a child, my father always told me that I needed to spend more time bench pressing because it would make my body look more ‘fit’. My father would also tell me to play more sports and to exercise frequently because men needed their bodies to appear athletically fit, as participation in these kinds of activities were something that I always felt pressured to do. Although I never considered myself to be in an unhealthy physical state, I continuously felt pressured by my family to lift weights, work out, and fixate on my appearance. As a result, the more I did not achieve bodily results that matched what my father expected from me, the further I felt I needed to discipline my body as extremely as possible (i.e., so that I could fit in with the rest of the boys my age). I do not imagine this experience to be different for many men and women such as myself, as many of us are taught at a young age to focus on how our identities appear to others and on remaining beautiful, skinny, and physically ideal. Like many men who can be teased by their peers for not being “buff” enough, there is a great amount of pressure placed onto lots of us who feel like we will do anything just to fit the framework of acceptance by society’s standards. I found the influence of my father to be the biggest impact on my BDD thoughts and behaviours, which in turn led me to compare myself to others in the media because it reinforced the negative perceptions that I was being taught at home. My experience with my family in relation to how I have relied on technology and media was a considerable influencer of triggering my BDD for many years.

            However, once I decided to step away from these unhealthy ideologies and into understanding how our bodies are a part of our nature and not based on how the media constructs our views of the ‘perfect body’, that I felt like I was freeing my mind from pressure. This is what I call the truer ‘nature’ of how we should conceptualize seeing our bodies, as I have studied how complex the human body is and how easily influenced it is by environmental factors, which causes our bodies to develop in ways that are sometimes completely out of our control. In turn, we can not control the nature of our bodies, as each of these many factors will alter our body’s dimensions and it is not our fault if we do not end up matching certain beautified standards. Yet, through our discovery of trying to understand ourselves on a deeper level, our society has developed several labels for describing our physical beings anyway. Through this effort to understand our bodies, we have created several additional terms to classify the diverse or more unique aspects of our bodies. In turn, the expectation to categorize oneself to fit into the framework of society has only divided us into groups based on how we feel we should identify our health, gender, nature, and body image in relation to everyone else around us. Unfortunately, this occurrence continues to be highly influential in shaping how most of us structure our opinions of ourselves, which is either supported or discriminated against by the same arbitrary beauty standards we have placed in society.

             As such, many people like myself have learned from social media to possess low self-esteem because they are constantly being exposed to various influencers and celebrities who perpetuate beliefs that a person can only be accepted if they meet a certain image. This has not only led to encouraging my own problematic behaviour, such as in practicing under/overeating to achieve a certain weight limit, but has also negatively impacted my mental health. In my personal life, I have been a victim of this experience for many years, as I have struggled with overeating habits for most of my life whenever I felt bad about how I looked. However, I now realize due to my natural body structure, no matter how hard I push myself to eat, I cannot seem to meet the weight goal that I have always desired. For a long time, this caused me to think negatively about myself, as I continued to push myself into meeting an ideal male body standard. It was only in recent years, whilst at university, that I realized I was punishing myself, as there was no real or valuable reason for why I was disciplining my body so severely. Once I realized why I was engaging in this behaviour and how it was impacting my health, I understood that this situation was a problem with how I viewed myself. For many years I tried to conform to the unrealistic standards of what the media and what my peers had told me was the true ‘norm’. I never understood why I felt so much stress when I would think about my body image until I realized that I was not alone in struggling with how I saw myself. Furthermore, I felt because I was uncomfortable with my body, I was uncomfortable with who I was on a more meaningful level. The effects of this behaviour led me down the wrong path for many years, which caused me to neglect my mental health and to judge myself for things that are out of my control. Thus, I believe to truly live healthily we must first become comfortable with how we see our bodies. Whether you are a man, woman, or non-gender individual, it is important that you learn ways to bring awareness into the narrative of how you see yourself and in comparison to others and the media. In turn, we can teach future generations that we all come with imperfect bodies, which will allow us to advocate for a future where we can respect each other’s appearances and prioritize healthier ways of living such as in promoting wellness.

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Beating BDD Podcast #23 – Berni Benton

We know that this can be a difficult time of year if you are battling BDD, here are some tips to help you get through the season.

Berni hid what she called her “secret shame” for 40 years before discovering she’d been suffering from skin-picking disorder – a common co-morbidity with BDD that can also manifest on its own. She’s since learnt how to say no to the skin-picking voice and has even appeared in a naked calendar.


You can download the transcript for this episode here:

Main Stage video from our Joint Virtual Conference

Justin Brass shares his experience of BDD through a thought provoking essay.

We knew that as a community, we have been one of the hardest hit by the restrictions, fear and isolation of the past year, and that in June, as we were starting to emerge from lockdown, new challenges were starting to emerge. That’s why we wanted to give our community a platform to celebrate the strength and resilience of people who have lived experience of BDD, OCD and BFRBs.

On our main stage, BDD room and OCD room we hosted a range of world-renowned experts who explored the latest breakthroughs in research, clinical practice, and emerging treatments. Meanwhile, our breakout rooms included a jam-packed schedule of workshops, performances and opportunities to connect.

You can watch our Main Stage video below!

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Charlie King from TOWIE shares his experience of BDD

Justin Brass shares his experience of BDD through a thought provoking essay.

Thank you to Charlie King, from the show The Only Way Is Essex (TOWIE) for raising awareness for this under-recognised condition and speaking about it with such insight and authenticity.

Charlie said: ‘It’s been quite a tough time, this last four years especially, it all came to a head… I’m addressing a lot of things and working through it.

‘If I look at the bigger picture, it started at school, I was bullied terribly and it definitely affected me… I always felt the odd one out or not very confident.’

Charlie then discussed having a cosmetic procedure on his nose which went wrong, admitting: ‘With that I started to retract back because and I was like, I don’t want to be seen… My confidence starting chipping away again and I started falling back.’

He added: ‘When we got out of that first lockdown I went to see a plastic surgeon who agreed that an improvement could be made. So when you hear that and you’re already in a vulnerable place and self-conscious, I was like “sign me up, get me in”…

‘I had surgery number one, and quite quickly after I could see it wasn’t right. The surgery didn’t go to plan.’

Thankfully, Charlie is now receiving help. He explained: ‘I’m getting help, I’ve got a great support network and I have therapy… It will be an ongoing thing… Therapy helps me to look at the bigger picture…’

Above exerts from a Daily Mail article.

Our chairman, Dr Rob Willson was also on the show to give an expert’s perspective on the condition.

Watch the full episode on catch up

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The Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation. Charity no. 1153753.