*On THE REAL airing Monday, November 22nd, guest co-host Tami Roman (“The Real World: Los Angeles,” “Basketball Wives”) reveals for the first time publicly that she suffers from Body Dysmorphic Disorder.
Tami shares when the disease started and what effect hearing, “you’re too skinny” actually has on her mind.
OK, let’s talk about something that surprisingly many people struggle with. Body dysmorphic disorder. Now the Mayo Clinic describes it as an Illness that causes a person to obsess about their looks and perceived flaws. A study published in the National Institutes of Health states that body dysmorphia cases are on the rise and there is a clear correlation between the increasing effects of social media. Ladies have you ever found yourself being overly critical when it comes to your physical appearance, even when your loved ones tell you there is nothing wrong with how you look?
Ding, Ding, Ding!
How do you feel?
Well, for me, it’s very close to home and it’s something that I don’t talk about often, so this is the first time because I feel comfortable enough to talk with you ladies about it. But I suffer from body dysmorphic disorder. And I’ve been dealing with it since I was 13 years old. And so, a lot of people don’t know it’s either hereditary or genetic or comes from a negative experience, where your self- image has been annihilated. And for me when I was 13 years old, I wanted to be a model. You know we’re from New York, I was tall, I was 5’9, I was thin. And I went to this agency and walked in, and that lady ripped me to shreds. I thought I was perfect. 5’9, less than 120 pounds. Assuredly they’re going to sign me. And she literally stood me in front of a mirror and said you’ve got back folds, you’ve got fat over your knees, you need to do something with your chin, your breasts are sagging. And I went home that night and from that moment, every time I looked at myself in the mirror, I could find something wrong with myself. And I didn’t know what it was, I didn’t know how to deal with it, I just knew well, I’ve got to get skinnier, I’ve got to make myself smaller. I want to be a model. And so, I started abusing laxatives, I started not eating, I started throwing up, I started doing everything that I could think of to do to be as skinny as I could possibly be, being obsessive about my weight loss. People don’t realize, that’s why I got my mouth wired in 1993. To be skinny when I was already skinny. And so now today at 50 years old, I’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and so my weight fluctuates with that, and you couple that with the disorder and it’s a hard thing to manage. People don’t understand what it is to be a person with this disorder, particularly dealing with the weight issues, because they leave negative comments. Or what they feel are negative comments, but for me, my mind has such a warped sense of perception, it’s a compliment. Tami, you look too frail, Tami, you look like a bobblehead, Tami, you look skinny. In my mind, that goes, well I’m on the right track, I’m getting skinny. And then I don’t know when to stop.
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About THE REAL
THE REAL is a daily, one-hour, two-time NAACP Image Award-winning and Emmy®-nominated talk show now in its eighth season on Fox Television Stations and in national syndication, with a rebroadcast on cable network Bounce. The bold, diverse and outspoken hosts, Garcelle Beauvais and Emmy® Award winners Adrienne Houghton, Loni Love and Jeannie Mai Jenkins, reflect the viewing audience and unapologetically say what women are actually thinking. The show prides itself on strong powerful women using their platform to discuss timely and topical issues. Their frankness and honesty combined with their unique perspectives are brought to life through candid conversations about their personal lives, current events, beauty, fashion and relationships. Unlike other talk shows, these collective fresh points of view, youthful energy and passion have made The Real a daily destination for multicultural women. The show is produced by Warner Bros. Unscripted Television in association with Telepictures Productions and distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution. Tenia L. Watson is executive producer and David Goldman is co-executive producer.