Chat Specials|February 2017
Not even ruptured implants could curb my surgery addiction
Studying my reflection in the mirror, I frowned.
Had my lips always been that thin? And why was my chest so flat?
Just 16, my body image issues seemed to run deeper than your typical teenage crisis of confidence.
While my pals and sisters Carly, now 29, and Jenny, 28, preferred the natural look – a subtle slick of mascara here, a coat of gloss there – I was obsessed with fakery.
I’d pore over images of glamour models in magazines. Jodie Marsh and Katie Price were my idols.
‘I wish I looked like that,’ I’d sigh, eyeing their miniscule waists and huge cleavage.
Desperate to emulate their Barbie doll style, I started to slather on the fake tan and pad out my 32B bra with tissues.
‘You don’t need all that, love – you’re beautiful as you are,’ my mum Norma, now 53, would say.
But I didn’t feel it. And I soon found that,
however many layers of shimmery bronzer I slapped on or however high I back combed my barnet, it made no difference.
I still felt dull and small on the inside.
Things got so bad that I’d come home every day from my hairdresser job, lock myself in the bathroom and sob.
‘I think we need to take you to the doctor,’ Mum said gently, one day.
Referred to a psychologist by my GP, he diagnosed me with body dysmorphia.
‘It’s an anxiety disorder, which causes people to have a distorted view of how they look,’ he said.
I had cognitive behavioural therapy, to help me deal with the intrusive thoughts.
But I still couldn’t silence that voice at the back of my head telling me I wasn’t good enough.
So, aged 26, I decided to do something drastic.
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