Monki x BDDF

Monki launches underwear capsule collection in collaboration with Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation

More Than My Reflection

This March coinciding with International Women’s Day, Monki joins forces once again with Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation (BDDF) to further raise awareness around Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).

In collaboration with the BDDF, Monki is launching a limited-edition underwear collection featuring positive affirmation messages, serving as a reminder to the wearer that they are unique, and that they are more than their reflection and what they see on the outside. The capsule includes two mesh bras and briefs. One set features positive affirmations on the inside of the underwear for the wearer to read, but also reflected the correct way when looking at the mirror, for an instant confidence boost. An encouraging self-love reminder. The second set features various body illustrations, one of the brand’s signature prints.

As part of the ongoing partnership between Monki and BDDF, a donation has been made to support BDDF’s work and expand on educational resources.

The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness of the disorder and how it affects a person’s psyche, wellbeing and self-confidence. As a brand which creates fashion for girls and young women, we have a responsibility to our community to be as inclusive and transparent as possible when it comes to body and beauty representation. Diverse casting and transparent retouch guidelines are two of the areas we have worked with since day one. That’s why this ongoing collaboration with BDDF is important to us — we strive to empower women to feel good about themselves without aspiring to unattainable norms,” says Simone Van Starkenburg, Brand & Marketing Director at Monki.

Monki has showcased a series of personal portraits from three media volunteers who have suffered from BDD and have used their experiences to educate and inform the public about this under-diagnosed and distressing disorder.

They describe how it started, how it manifested, their lowest point, and how they have gotten to the other side. They also share advice on how to support someone potentially going through this or to someone who knows a person that is suffering from this disorder. The purpose is to enlighten, inform, educate on the disorder, encourage to seek help, and to never give up.

As part of the campaign, Monki put up posters and distorted mirrors across the UK, including London, Manchester and Birmingham. It’s wonderful to see the BDD Foundation, and most importantly BDD as a condition being recognised and amplified. You can find many more of the shared images on our Instagram, we have loved seeing them!

In November 2021, BDDF, supported by Monki, started a petition directed at the EU Parliament calling for transparency on altered images on social media. This pushed for changes to ensure that organisations, companies, and influencers are legally required to state when images have been manipulated for paid content online. This tapped into an already important and ongoing movement where we in recent years have seen changes in law changes to legislation in Norway and France. Since the petition’s launch, we have managed to accumulate over 40,000 signatures — but it doesn’t stop there. So far, the petition has been a catalyst in pushing for a similar UK legislative change, which is why it is still important to support us by signing the petition.

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.

More stories from the community

Monki x BDDF

Read More

Beating BDD Podcast #28 – Tilly Kaye

“I feel very comfortable in my body today. I’m inside looking out at the world, and it’s a much more stable place to be.”

After suffering with BDD for many years, Tilly is now reaping the benefits of all the time and effort she put into recovering from the condition. Her story proves that if you keep putting in the work, you will get something out of it.

You can download the transcript for this episode here:

Alex & Bryony’s West Highland Way Fundraiser

The West Highland Way is a 96 mile route in Scotland which Alex and Bryony aim to complete in 6 days. On the 7th day they will climb all 1345 metres of Ben Nevis (the tallest mountain in the UK)!

Alex and his partner Bryony are walking the West Highland Way in June 2023, to raise funds for the BDD Foundation. As someone who lives with BDD, Alex is passionate about raising awareness of BDD and being an important voice for the many people out there who are yet to speak about their condition or get support.

“I have been diagnosed with this disorder for a while now and at times it can be debilitating for myself and massively impact those who love me.”

Alex has engaged with support from the BDD Foundation, including support groups, retreat days and listening to the Beating BDD podcast. The recommended treatment for BDD is antidepressant medication combined with intensive CBT, however current waiting times in the UK to receive such psychological intervention can be lengthy.

“It is therefore essential that this charity continues to be accessible for people suffering with BDD and their loved ones.”

Alex and Bryony have chosen a walking challenge, as being outside in nature and walking helps them both manage the distressing and unwanted feelings caused by BDD.

“We are both fully aware that there are people diagnosed with severe BDD who are unable to leave the house and face the world. We aim to complete this walking challenge so that we can give these people hope that no matter how difficult things may seem, they can improve with the right help and support.”

Please support Alex and Bryony in this fantastic challenge, and help contribute to our essential ongoing support services and research.

Donate to Alex & Bryony’s Fundraising Page

More stories from the community

Monki x BDDF

Read More

Healing through Community and Connection

Beau (aka @DadBod_Cyclist) shares his experience of BDD as a result of devastating and heartbreaking childhood trauma.

Beau has spent time understanding his past, in order to move forward in his journey of recovery. BDD has impacted all areas of his life and ability to function.

‘I’ve had long stretches of periods of time where I couldn’t leave the house. The weight on me felt so heavy it felt as though it was crushing my organs.’

Someone described to Beau what BDD was in more detail, explaining that it’s a recognised and treatable illness. This is when he began understanding the nature of the condition. He realised BDD was what he was experiencing, now and for years before then, and was able to begin working on healing.

‘It’s very hard to contextualise for someone that hasn’t experienced BDD, what it actually means. It’s like standing in front of one of those fun mirrors at a circus that is ever evolving and changing. I never know what I am going to see when I look in the mirror.’

Beau has discovered a love for cycling as part of his healing from BDD. Before he explored this, he explains that ‘I didn’t want to be a cyclist…everything I knew about cycling and cyclists just looked visually like everything that I’m not.’

However, finding a community and connecting with others through a welcoming and inclusive club, has been an essential part of Beau’s recovery. He reflects that ‘the community aspect of cycling, is the thing that gets me out of bed.’

Beau is on a mission to make change in the cycling industry and shift the perception of what it means to be a cyclist, and allow people to be cyclists simply ‘because they are turning the pedals.’   

A huge amount of gratitude to Beau for sharing his experience. It’s such a powerful and important story for others to hear, and we hope many of our readers can resonate with Beau’s journey.

Beau’s Instagram: @DadBod_Cyclist

Video by Hammerhead

More stories from the community

Monki x BDDF

Read More

An Introduction to Acceptance and Commitment Principles for BDD

Autumn Webinar rescheduled | with Dr Sarah Sivers

More stories from the community

Monki x BDDF

Read More

Not every fairy likes their wings

Not Every Fairy Likes Their Wings’ is a short film about a fairy called Lilith. Like most teenagers, she spends her time on her phone, taking selfies and criticising herself. Especially, her wings. Body Dysmorphic Disorder leads her to a dark mental state and she is forced to confront her intrusive thoughts.

This short story brings awareness to Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) which is a mental health condition where a person spends a lot of time worrying about flaws in their appearance. In the age of social media, many people spend time worrying about their appearance and comparing themselves to other ideal profiles, but they may not realise that it can be a symptom of BDD.

This is a female lead project and as fans of the fashion style ‘Fairycore’ they wanted to create a short film with beautiful fashion and make-up that represents this style. The film brings surreal characters but shows real problems. Moreover, we want to prove that Fairies are real! And everyone can become one. By supporting this film, you can help their wings to make this beautiful story fly!

Rebecca is an aspiring and talented screenwriter. She has a Foundation Diploma in Design & Media and is currently a third-year Digital Film Production student at Ravensbourne University. She also has experience working at BFI and MET Film School. “I was inspired to write a story due to my own personal experience of body dysmorphia. I made the story about a fairy who’s insecure about her wings because the wings can represent whatever perceived flaw the audience thinks of themselves. Thus making the story applicable to anyone.”


We are looking for £2,000 to cover the production expenses including catering and craft services, prop and set dressings, costuming, transportation, and make-up as well as paying the actors. ALL FUNDS WILL BE USED TOWARDS THE FILM AND FILM ONLY.


More stories from the community

Monki x BDDF

Read More

BDD through fashion photography

Ellesha has channelled her experience of Body Dysmorphic Disorder into her fashion photography as part of her MA.

“I’m Ellesha, a fashion photography MA student. I had been struggling with body dysmorphia on and off for many years. When I moved to London I felt a pressure to look a certain way and my body dysmorphia took over my whole life, to the point that I couldn’t leave my flat for days because I was obsessed with what I looked like. It effected my studies, my job, my friendships and relationships I felt like it had taken every part of me that I once loved.”

“I wanted to express the way I was feeling through my art. I find that self portraiture is the best way to convey what I’m truly feeling and it expresses a vulnerability that I can only get from being the model.”

“I began by getting 3D scanned whilst wearing lingerie, this was daunting but I felt most at one with my body this way. I then manipulated the images in various ways to express the way my mind felt about my body. The results became un-human and alien like as I distorted myself to be unrecognisable.”

“As I began to work on the ideas, I heavily researched the disorder and the aspect of mind body dualism meaning I was able to better understand my situation and find ways of slowly accepting myself.”

“I hope that by making this work I can show that body dysmorphic disorder can have hugely devastating effects on the everyday life and completely change the perception we have of ourselves. But to show that no one is alone in experiencing it and there is a light at the end of tunnel.”

Follow Ellesha’s work here:

Instagram: @elldoubledaze

More stories from the community

Monki x BDDF

Read More

Hurt to Healing podcast

The Hurt to Healing podcast with Pandora Morris has interviewed our ambassador Charlie King on his experiences of BDD. Pandora goes on to interview our trustee Dr Amita Jassi on her expert knowledge of the condition.

Pandora launched the Hurt to Healing podcast earlier this year. She opens about about the ‘uphill battle’ she has with her mental health for years. She has now begun ‘to see some glimmers of light’. As part of her own recovery, she has made it her ‘mission to support as many of you as possible on your own healing journey’. In this podcast she speaks to wonderful people from all walks of life who have opened up about their own invisible struggles in the hope that it will provide a bit of solace and comfort for some of you. She speaks to leading experts and doctors about different disorders and therapies that might help expand your knowledge on the world of mental health.

Please follow @hurttohealingpod

In her latest episodes she has focused on Body Dysmorphic Disorder by interviewing our lovely ambassador Charlie King

Since leaving the reality show, The Only Way Is Essex in 2015, Charlie has struggled with both depression and body dysmorphic disorder. The pandemic was a challenging time for all of us. And Charlie admits that psychologically he was not in a good place, which led him to get surgery on his nose. Charlie now uses his platform to call for mental health awareness on this issue, and I’m so glad to be able to get the chance to talk to him about it today.

Listen to the podcast by following this link

Pandora follows up with some expert knowledge on BDD from our trustee

Dr Amita Jassi.

Dr Jassi is a consultant, clinical psychologist at the National and Specialist OCD, BDD and Related Disorder Service for Children and Young People. Body dysmorphic disorder affects about one in 50 people. We discuss why it’s such a debilitating condition, why there is a lack of insight into it and I ask her about what treatment and therapies are available.

Listen to the podcast by following this link

More stories from the community

Monki x BDDF

Read More

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.

BBC Room 5 speaks to Tilly

In Room 5, Helena Merriman shares stories of real-life medical mysteries, interviewing people who – like her – were changed by a diagnosis.

This week, Tilly was featured on the BBC Sounds’ Room 5 Medical Mysteries program with broadcaster Helena Merriman. Tilly explains how, from an early age, she, never felt right in her body and how utterly disorientating that is, until one day she sat down with a therapist to put a label on that feeling.

BDD is misunderstood – even in the medical profession where the average time from recognising there is a problem to an actual diagnosis is 10 years! In that time, lives can spiral out of control, social, family and professional life can diminish to zero.

“From the outside, Tilly seems to have life figured out. She works in fashion, lives on a house-boat – for which she’s done all the plumbing and electrics. But inside, she’s struggling. She’s always felt wrong in her body – ever since school. Then one afternoon, Tilly sits down with a therapist – who fits the pieces of the puzzle together and gives Tilly a diagnosis. Tilly’s diagnosis explains the way her brain is wired – now her challenge is to re-wire it, and change her future.”

Listen to the podcast by following this link

More stories from the community

Monki x BDDF

Read More
The Body Dysmorphic Disorder Foundation. Charity no. 1153753.