Emma shares her experience of BDD

Emma Kilburn shares her story with

“Thinking about my relationship with my physical appearance in terms of BDD has actually been quite liberating. Since I have begun to research the condition, I have felt able to consider my negative body image as an issue in its own right, rather than simply as an aspect of my depression and anxiety. This in turn has enabled me, at least partially, to sever the link between my negative views about how I look and low self-esteem. “

“From my own point of view, I can trace a sense of dissatisfaction with my physical appearance back to a brief period when I was bullied about my hairline when I started at secondary school. Over time, my physical appearance became a focus for my negative feelings about myself. My appearance and my body became things that had to manage or conceal.”

Read the full article

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Beating BDD Podcast #22 – Andy Hall

“I’m no longer distracted from the things I want to do. I’m happier and healthier than ever.”

Ten years ago, Andy used to spend eight hours a day in front of the mirror and couldn’t imagine ever being able to function. Now, he works full time and describes himself as 90% to 95% recovered.

You can download the transcript for this episode here:

‘Bulking Up’ a film about MD needs your support

Crowdfunding campaign for a short film on Muscle Dysmorphia and men’s mental health needs you!

The Film Bulking up will largely be based on the real life experience of muscle dysmorphia, suffered by the actor Micky David (who is playing Danny) in his early twenties:

“It’s hard to explain but if my t-shirt wasn’t tight around my biceps or if I’d eaten something that wasn’t in my nutrition plan it’d play on my mind on repeat.

After once being told how skinny I immediately took on an eight week bulking regime, force feeding myself 4000 calories a day & lifting heavy weights. Although I put on 10KG and packed on muscle I suffered numerous illnesses including urine infections, daily bowel issues, a shoulder injury and muscle damage, not to mention daily insecurities about the way I looked. 

Every detail embedded in the film are day to day occurrences I faced when Bulking Up, from panicking over what to eat to the meticulous logging of nutrition and progress. I want the film to be truthful, so to recall on my own story and specific elements of others was fundamental.”

Bulking Up is a short film about muscle dysmorphia and men’s mental health. We follow our protagonist Danny (Micky David) as he battles with the perception of his own appearance, whilst his world starts to falls apart. 

Bulking Up Is a co-production between Firework Productions (TAYLOR) and the Academy Award Winning Slick Films (The Silent Child, Sucker Punch)

The Story

Danny’s journey to carve the body of his dreams is lined with hurdles. His best mate constantly pesters him to go out drinking, which jeopardises his progress. He is on thin ice at work for persistent lateness after cramming in extra workouts. Then he has to endure his boss’ incessant daily fantasies over male celebrities, which only escalates his anxieties. Even when his girlfriend tries to be intimate with him, hatred of his own body comes between them.

Six weeks in and Danny is still unable to bear his reflection. His fitness fixation soars and his regime turns into a vicious cycle of binging, lifting and throwing up. His life spirals out of control, catastrophically splitting up with his girlfriend, falling out with his best friend, dropped by his agent and being sacked from work. Just when things can’t get any worse he seriously injures himself at the gym, putting himself out of action.

After twelve weeks Danny’s obsession has turned his life upside down and he stares longingly at the influencer’s profile. He appears to have it all; the body of an Adonis, over a hundred thousand followers and a lifestyle to die for. However, underneath his filtered snaps hides a very dark reality that is about to take its toll. Oblivious and alone Danny embarks on a new, but dangerous, alternative to achieve the physique he has always longed for.


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24 Hour Video Game Livestream Fundraiser

Crowdfunding campaign for a short film on Muscle Dysmorphia and men’s mental health needs you!

The Youtube channel & podcasters ‘Game Coping’ will the hosting a 24-hour charity live stream of PS4 & PS5 video games, interviews and live music in aid of the BDD Foundation! This will be held on Friday 20th August beginning at 2pm BST and finishing the following day on Saturday 21st at 2pm.

Duncan will speed run the game Dishonoured 2, interview someone from the BDD Foundation, and will sing a song – all live!!

If you donate you can request a game to be played, or a song for Duncan to sing!

Donate what you can, but we do have some bonuses for you just like last year. 

  • Donate £5 or more before Wednesday the 18th of August and you can request a game for us to play on the stream.
  • Donate £15 or more before Tuesday 17th of August and you can request a song for Duncan to sing during his mini virtual concert during the stream.

Thank you all so much for your support! See you in the chat on Friday the 20th of August from 2 pm BST! We’ll be live at the link below…

Donate via their Just Giving page

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Seeker explores Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Emma Kilburn shares her story with

Featuring leading BDD clinician Katherine Phillips MD and stories of lived experience

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Beating BDD Podcast #21 – Flora Howarth

“I’m no longer distracted from the things I want to do. I’m happier and healthier than ever.”

Flora Howarth suffered with BDD alongside an eating disorder until just 18 months ago. Since then, she’s made truly inspirational progress is overcoming the disorder, and built up a personal toolkit of tricks that will be really helpful to listeners.

You can download the transcript for this episode here:

BDDF gives evidence to Parliamentary Committee

Crowdfunding campaign for a short film on Muscle Dysmorphia and men’s mental health needs you!

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Beauty, Aesthetics and Wellbeing (the APPG), Chaired by Carolyn Harris MP and Judith Cummins MP has published its final report into botox, fillers and similar aesthetic non-surgical cosmetic treatments, which is available on its website here.

Evidence was given by Professor David Veale on behalf of the BDD Foundation and can be found on page 22.

The MPs launched a year-long inquiry following the explosion in the popularity and availability of these treatments. They were concerned that currently anyone can carry out any treatment, with minimal legal restrictions on who can provide them or what qualifications they must have to do so.

There is a complete lack of a legal framework of standards around these treatments, which has left consumers at risk and undermined the industry’s ability to develop.

The APPG investigated practitioner standards and qualifications, the case for a registration of practitioners or licensing, ethics and mental health considerations, and the serious issues around advertising and social media.

There is much good practice from aesthetic practitioners in the beauty and medic industries, but also cases of poor practice from both. It was not the APPG’s intention to state who should or shouldn’t be allowed to become a practitioner, but ensure all practitioners gain the appropriate training and prove their competence to deliver advanced aesthetic treatments.

The Group today makes 17 recommendations for Government to plug this regulatory gap, including:

  • Setting national minimum standards for practitioner training;
  • Mandate practitioners hold a regulated qualification in line with national standards;
  • Legislate to introduce a national licensing framework;
  • Make fillers prescription only;
  • Develop and mandate psychological pre-screening of customers;
  • Extend the ban on U18s receiving botox and fillers to other invasive aesthetic treatments;
  • Place advertising restrictions on dermal fillers and other invasive aesthetic treatments;
  • Require social media platforms to do more to curb misleading ads and posts promoting these treatments.

These recommendations are based on evidence given in public inquiry sessions and written submissions from a wide range of stakeholders including trade associations, aesthetics industry operators, trainers, practitioners, health bodies, regulatory agencies and consumers themselves.

Co-Chairs of the APPG, Carolyn Harris MP and Judith Cummins MP, said:

“For too long there have been next to no limits on who can carry out aesthetic treatments, what qualifications they must have, or where they can administer them.

“We launched this inquiry as we were deeply concerned that as the number of advanced treatments on the market continues to grow, the regulation remains fragmented, obscure and out of date which puts the public at risk.

“We were also particularly concerned about the advertising and social media promotion of these treatments and how to make sure vulnerable people, such as children and those at risk from mental ill-health, are protected.

“We strongly urge the Government to implement the recommendations in our report and to take action to improve to improve the situation for the benefit of the industry and public safety. Maintaining the status quo is simply not an option.”

Minister for Patient Safety, Nadine Dorries, said:

“Far too many people have been left to live with the emotional and physical scars caused by their experience of cosmetic surgery, needing prolonged medical treatment after botched cosmetic procedures, particularly fillers.

“Patients must always come first and I am committed to protecting their safety making sure people have the right information they need to make informed decisions about cosmetic surgery and ensuring the highest quality training is accessible to all practitioners.

“This report is an important contribution to our shared understanding of the consequences of this kind of treatment and I look forward to reviewing its recommendations on how we continue to improve people’s safety.

“Anyone considering Botox, or fillers, should pause and take the time they need to consider the potential impact of surgery on both their physical and mental health, and take steps to ensure they are using a reputable, safe and qualified practitioner.”

Further information on the APPG can be found at or on Twitter @BAW_APPG.

This report is not an official publication of the House of Commons or the House of Lords. It has not been approved by either House or its committees. All-Party Parliamentary Groups are informal groups of Members of both Houses with a common interest in particular issues. The views expressed in this report are those of the group.

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Greg’s ‘Bear Crawl Marathon’ Fundraiser

Crowdfunding campaign for a short film on Muscle Dysmorphia and men’s mental health needs you!

Greg’s Story:

I’m attempting to break a Guinness world record by bear crawling a marathon (26.2 miles) in aim of raising awareness and funds in support of Body Dysmorphic Disorder because it’s something we all should talk more about, be aware of and support each other with.

It effects so many people and leads to devastating long term side effects to the body and mind. It’s close to my partner, family, some clients and even colleagues but what I have found recently is that it’s so present in today’s society. Social media plays a big part in the down fall unfortunately with a negative outlook which needs to be turned around in to a positive!

Please support this cause and stay tuned by following Greg’s journey on Instagram @gb_fitnessculture

Donate via Greg’s Just Giving page

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Upcoming Art Exhibition: ‘The Body’

Crowdfunding campaign for a short film on Muscle Dysmorphia and men’s mental health needs you!

Taking place at: Not my Beautiful House Gallery in Kingston from 29th July – 23rd August (2021)

Julianna Temple discusses her journey to “Claiming Venus” through her photography series. Julianna describes the project, “Claiming Venus explores my relationship with my body and my experience with body dysmorphia. The project comprises three chapters: Before, During, and The Road To After. Together they take the viewer through my journey to understand myself. The first chapter, Before, investigates what has influenced me to feel this way about my body, whether it be from my family or how women are portrayed in the media. The second chapter, During, is my attempt to show how my body dysmorphia currently makes me feel and how confusing it can be. Finally the third chapter, The Road To After, is where I depict myself in a light of self acceptance and defiance of the societal standards placed upon women.”

Trigger warning: the exhibition does contain nudity, themes of sexual assault, Body Dysmorphia, and illness.

Exhibition Link:

Julianna’s work:

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Abigail’s Poem ‘I am going to love this body’

Crowdfunding campaign for a short film on Muscle Dysmorphia and men’s mental health needs you!

I am going to love this body

I am going to be in Love with this body

No one can love this body more than me

I am precious, sexy and beautiful

I accept my body

This love that I give you is inevitable and infinite

I am feminine like a rose

Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder

My body is a universal beauty

A wonder

And I am blessed to own it

“The time I had written this diary entry/love letter to myself I felt the ugliest and didn’t believe any of the words written. They were more of affirmations and what I wanted to eventually think of myself. The scarring on my chest and stomach left me afraid to wear clothes that would reveal them. I couldn’t stand myself naked. I thought giving other people permission to determine whether I was beautiful or not – by any means – would make me love myself.

My standards of beauty began to change when I became intentional in what I consumed in the media. I no longer desired to be white or despised how dark I was. As my standards became more Afrocentric, I sabotaged myself by finding other problems. I wasn’t curvy or didn’t have breasts like the way the average African woman did. It felt like I won but was losing at the same time. So, I modelled at a life drawing class to try to love myself – one of the best things I did. I was so empowered to be standing in what I thought to be my most ugly and vulnerable state whilst watching others appreciate it as art.

7 months later I woke up to feeling no shame for my body or my face. It was sudden and unexpected, as quick as switching the light on. It was one of those moments where people tell you “you are beautiful” but it doesn’t matter unless you actually believe it – and I believed it.

Through my efforts to love this body I can say I’m happy naked, I love being a dark-skinned flat-chested black woman and I believe the words in my diary”

I hope my story can benefit somebody.

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The Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation. Charity no. 1153753.