Celebs and Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Because it’s a day ending in “-day,” Us Weekly has a new “How I Got Thin!” cover. This week’s success story: Kelly Osbourne. The 5’2” reality show star, who has struggled with weight her entire life, has winnowed herself down from a 160-lb Size 14 to a Size 2, 118-pounder with a tight little bod.

And yet, despite her obvious shape metamorphosis, she told E! that while she’s thrilled to have a positive reason for being splashed across magazine covers,  "I just wish that it said 'How Kelly got healthy' rather than 'How Kelly got thin,' because I'm not thin. I'm just healthy."

Hold your low-carb, high-in-satiating-lean-protein horses there, girlfriend.

You’re a size 2. You weigh less than some breeds of dogs. You are, in fact, thin. You may prefer to think of your weight loss in terms of health, and that’s wonderful, but we need to make sure that you do, in fact, recognize you are no longer a “big girl.” I’m sure that can be challenging to remember, especially when you’ve lived your life in front of cameras and gossip mags that constantly harp on your weight, when you’ve had the horrible experience of walking down the street and having "some horrible obnoxious teenager [scream] out a car window…'You're fat!’” as she told Us Weekly. ("I went to my parents [Sharon and Ozzy] bawling, 'I would rather be called ugly than be called fat!'")

Now, I’m not saying Osbourne is struggling with hardcore Body Dysmorphic Disorder (defined as a type of chronic mental illness in which you can't stop thinking about a flaw with your appearance.) But if she continues to fail to recognize that she IS now thin, she’s setting herself up for truckloads of frustration and disappointment.

Not that she’d be the only celeb to recently spew a seemingly nonsensical, BDD-esque quip. Victoria Beckham, who’s so thin you could zip her up in one of those neoprene laptop cases and pass her through airport security unscathed, was recently quoted as saying that she and Jennifer Lopez wore the same size.

Um, FYI, Vickie: You don’t.  In fact, you look about as close to J. Lo as Snooki does to Wendy Williams. 

And Heidi Montag, while not exactly a celebrity, has demonstrated clear body dysmorphia in an attempt to achieve star status.  (After a lifetime spent as an “ugly duckling,” she recently unveiled her new look after undergoing a marathon 10-hour, $30,000+ surgery, during which she underwent 10 different procedures, from a chin reduction to a DDD breast augmentation to neck liposuction.)

According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of BDD include: 
-Preoccupation with your physical appearance
-Strong belief that you have an abnormality or defect in your appearance that makes you ugly 
-Frequently examining yourself in the mirror or, conversely, avoiding mirrors altogether
-Believing that others take special notice of your appearance in a negative way
-Frequent cosmetic procedures with little satisfaction
-Feeling extremely self-conscious
-Comparing your appearance with that of others
-Wearing excessive makeup or clothing to camouflage perceived flaws

I’d like to introduce these women – and you – to My Body Image Gallery. The website lets real women upload full-length photos of themselves, along with their height, weight and measurements. The result is an easily-searchable collection that allows you to see just what other women with your numbers look like. It’s helpful on many levels. First, it allows you to see just how different 5’5”, 140 pounds can look. Hourglass-like, long and lean, or pear-shaped. It also lets you view other women with a compassionate eye – we’re all in this together, after all – and hopefully some of that compassion will translate to our own inner dialogue. You’re not looking at these pics and calling the women “disgusting, fat cows,” but I bet some of us have said those exact words to ourselves. Why don’t we deserve the same love as we give a stranger?

Tell me if you check out the gallery and what you think about the pictures!

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