Does Kim Kardashian West Really Have Body Dysmorphia?

Kim Kardashian West says she has body dysmorphia. We break down what this mental health condition is and how it affects women (and men).

kim kardashian west body dysmorphia, Kim Kardashian on the red carpetphoto credit: shutterstock

You’d think looking like a Kardashian would eliminate most insecurities – but turns out that’s not exactly the case for Kim Kardashian West.

Opening up on this episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Kim shared that constantly seeing unflattering photos of herself in the media has caused her to develop “body dysmorphia” – which is actually a reference to body dysmorphic disorder.

The photos that pushed Kardashian West to share were taken on one of her vacations in Mexico. And like most 30-something women, she had some visible cellulite.

While it’s unclear if Kardashian West’s actually been diagnosed with the disorder, or if she was just exaggerating her symptoms, she seems to be suffering from some of the signs.

Talking to her family, the reality star says, “You take pictures and people just body shame you. It’s like literally giving me body dysmorphia.”

What you need to know about BDD

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, those who suffer from body dysmorphic disorder spend hours each day thinking about their “flaws.”

Their obsession can cause severe emotional distress and interfere with their day-to-day life.

The most common symptoms of BDD are feeling a strong disdain for one or more aspects of your personal appearance; believing a certain body area is “ugly, abnormal, deformed, or disfigured;” and those with severe BDD may feel like a “monster” while those with less severe forms may just consistently feel “unattractive.”

The International OCD Foundation reports between 1.7 per cent and 2.4 per cent of the population suffer from the disorder (which is about one in 50). That means there’s approximately 140 million people in the world with BDD and 720,000 in Canada.

Though it’s talked about quite a bit less, BDD is as common as OCD and more common than anorexia and schizophrenia.

Feeling insecure is, unfortunately, a part of most people’s everyday life, but BDD sufferers are consumed by it. They are obsessed with finding mays to camouflage their “problem area.” The IOCD suggests that those with BDD spend between three and eight hours each day thinking about their perceived flaw.

And given that Kardashian West likely watches herself on TV and sees photos of herself in tabloids and on gossip sites, as well as on her social channels, it is a possibility that she critiques herself.

But we hope she can appreciate what we see – a body that wasn’t your typical Hollywood shape but is still seen as beautiful by her fans.

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