Monday, 6 April 2009

Another day...

So today is the day I post make-up free outfit photos! It may seem strange to some people that I'm bringing this up, but bear with me - I have some things to get down on (virtual) paper...

Basically, I find it really difficult to do anything in life without my ritual make-up application, and quite a lot of hair brushing, skin touching, deep breathing at the rising anxiety etc.

This probably sounds vain to most people. Obsessive concern with one's appearance? Vain and shallow right?

Well, that's what I try to avoid thinking, because underneath the surface perception of perceived defects and ugliness, that, rationally, I know are at least a tiny bit ridiculous, there is an underlying issue.

I have something called Body Dysmorphic Disorder. This is something which causes excessive concern about one (or many) perceived defects in appearance, and means I can get completely consumed by panic just by looking in the mirror for too long without any make-up to hand. It combines both obsessive and compulsive aspects, and is strongly linked to instances of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder ( - guilty as charged! ). It involves some problems with social situations, and can take over your life really easily.

For some people, it leaves them completely crippled - unable to go to work, socially interact, lead normal lives... It can become that consuming. I'm one of the lucky ones. For me, it's not too bad. I have a very low register of the disorder, that I manage easily most of the time. I had a really bad patch when I was ill with CFS / ME, and last year during exams, but most of the time, like the OCD, it is only noticeable to the people who know me well.  Or who try to take photos of me! This is part of the reason I'm doing this blog... Working on photoshoots with T-B is part of my 'training' myself out of the bad reaction I used to have to cameras. So far so good. 

My close uni friends only started noticing when I got addicted to Sour Skittles in the bar, and spend about five minutes sorting them into groups of 4 of the same colour (or two and two)... I then eat them in 4s, and get very protective of the little groups... I count pretty much everything (especially food) in 4s. My room mate has known for much longer, mainly because she has had to sit through many dinners where peas were involved, and I would sit for aaaages, sorting, and eating them in 4s, to her amusement and eventually, once twenty minutes passed, horror!

But it's a big decision for me to put these photos of today's outfits on here. I didn't really go out today, and noone was coming round, so I had one of my 'brave' makeupless days lol. I also tend to change clothes several times a day to cope with how I'm feeling. All part of my strategies, but it does lead to a very messy room! Hehe. My room mate jokes that I change more times in a day than she does in a week! 

So. Deep Breath. Here goes.

- I wore this for a bit of twirling mid-panic attack about dissertation. Cheered me right up! ;-D - in a Betty Jackson "Two" dress, Kate Kuba shoes, Jocasi belt, ToyWatch.
- Worn for most of the day - my favourite American Apparel tri-blend tee, Warehouse skirt, Kate Kuba shoes, ToyWatch, Max C London cardigan...

That's all from me today... I'm supposed to be writing up a case study of conversion (to Christianity from 'pagan') of the landscape of a site in Northumberland... The excavation report is from the 70s and I'm dying here! ;-D


P.s. I hope noone thinks I wrote this post for sympathy / compliments... I just wanted to get it out in the open as an issue which is so rarely talked about. I tend to be quite self-depricating, and this is why... Thanks for reading this far and not writing me of as some self-indulgent crackpot! :-D


Alice X said...

woww, i really never could have guessed. i adore your skirt and you are gorgeous, with or without makeup:)

Just A Little Girl said...

I have a friend who has ME and I know how horrible it can be! Its made me a bit paranoid now that I might have it as I am constantly knackered....anyway....I digress....

I love the outfits, the second is my favourite I must admit!

And without sounding like a brown-noser, I love the way you write your blog, its so light, and I always fear mine is too moany / bland.

Keep up the good work, hi-5 from oxford x x x

modern antoinette said...

You have a lot of courage talking about it so openly...congrats girl. You should be proud. You are absolutely gorgeous.

PS. I love reading you!!

clairegrenade said...

you look GOORGEOUS!

you're an inspiration for turning over and coming out and speaking to the blogging community so openly about yourself

you look great, chica don't forget it

The Clothes Horse said...

You look lovely--I adore the first dress you're wearing.
I didn't think you sounded vain at all for not wanting to be seen without primping--even before I read your very legitimate reasons.

Lindsay said...

You are so brave! Thanks for sharing. Loved the outfits, you look great!

CandiDandiStylinWylin said...

hey lovely blog wanna link??


Anna said...

Wauw, It's so brave of you to post these photo's without make-up. (I understand how you feel, and really it's so brave!)
And you look gorgeous, de green dress looks so good on you (:

Maverick said...

Haha, very nice of you to talk about it openly :) I used to count syllabals whenever I or anyone else talked, up until I was 16 or 17. I'm not sure why...

Makeup has never been a routine for me. Quite the opposite in fact. I'm in the stage where I'm trying to get into the habit of wearing it on a normal basis, but it's just so time consuming. I'm such an "up and go" person.

In any case, you look gorgeou.

xo, mavi

Anonymous said...

That really is brave of you. Congratulations! Wonderful outfits by the way!

DaisyChain said...

You are incredible, brave and a true inspiration m'dear.
I'm going to take your lead and face the world makeupless one of these days.

(for the record, I struggle with BDD alongside anorexia ((though I'm in recovery, as such)) so I relate on many levels)


Louisee x said...

Well done on posting without makeup. I can truly understand how hard that is for you, as I have body dysmorphic disorder too. So much so, that on my blog, I don't even like posting my face as i hate it so much.

So thankyou for posting this, it's helped me in a small way :).

Would you like to exchange blog links?


merve said...

nice blog :D

Iole said...

Hi, just discovered your blog and stopped by. Hope you could visit mine

PLATFORM said...

disorders aside, you've got a great look. Keep on showing 'em legs, girl.

The Socialite said...

You have a great blog! Cute outfits! ;)

thischicksgotstyle said...

Wow, that is a tough story. I hope you can deal with it in a way that you feel comfortable with!

I also wanted to say, thank you for dropping by my blog! And I love the print of the first dress a lot.

yara from thischicksgotstyle

Anonymous said...

you look gorgeous, my dear, just gogeous!

Cari said...

Cute!!! said...

First of all , I want to thank you for sharing this with us....It's very brave and I applaud you for that!
Secondly, I want to ask you to not ever refer to yourself , as if you have some kind of a disorder...Because, you don't...What you are going through is quite's just most people never admit to fears and anxieties that are going through their heads...Yours is by far not the worst:)
Your photos are absolutely GORGEOUS! and I'm not just saying that. I really don't ever flatter unless I mean it! You look lovely, and you have a fantastic body! Keep doing what you are doing, and soon you'll realize you are over your fears, however your story will help others to go through their tough times and fears! You are inspirational!




irmiana said...

Hey, this is my first visit to your blog, and it's not going to be my last. :-)

Well done, for having the courage to talk about BDD and OCD. I don't have BDD, but I have OCD, and I do things in 2s or 5s - M&Ms in the same colour, always in a pair, and pasta by 5s - and everything has to fit, like pieces in a puzzle.

You look gorgeous without the makeup, and the Besty Johnson dress is such a good colour on you :-)

Care to exchange links?


Tina { Luphia Loves... } said...

amazing belt! and that floral skirt is so lovely :)

Ida said...

You are really brave for posting this, and I must say you look beautiful without makeup. Good luck with overcoming your fears!


Wanderlusting said...

You're gorgeous and have nothing to worry about.

Funny how that probably doesn't make you feel better at all. Doesn't make me feel better to hear it, which probably means i suffer from it too.

Some friends say so anyway, but I secretly think they want me to stop obsessing about what a fat cow I am so they say that to shut me up.

Thanks for your honesty - I;m glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks like this - whether it is warranted (which I think it is) or not.

Wanderlusting said...

PS your legs are amazing. Seriously. Also, I often have real nightmares about going somewhere or about to be photographed or meeting someone, what have you, and I have no makeup or I can't put it on properly and panic and freak out. It's funny because I don't think I would panic like I do in my dreams if it really happened but it's got to be some sort of concern to my subconcious if I am dreaming about. Do you ever have those dreams?

Rollergirl said...

Good for you for putting this 'out there'. Hope it does help you cope. You look fab by the way... I think there was something about OCD in the FT magazine a couple of weeks ago, it seems to be much more common than we realise.

Mairyliscious said...

love the green on you !!! feets you perfect with the belt ! really like it !!