Health issues and body shaming are unfortunately common themes in the entertainment industry. Our favorite celebrities are constantly pressured to look a certain way, most times at all costs. You hear all the time about new diets, surgeries and more that are helping people get and stay slim. We see celebrities like Jennifer Hudson, Adele and Oprah have dramatic weight loss journeys that fans try to replicate. In some case, these people are dealing with issues as deep as body dysmorphia. Reality television veteran Tami Roman is the latest to talk about body dysmorphia disorder and how it affected her.
Speaking with The Real, host Loni Love kicked off the discussion talking about the facts connected to body dysmorphia on an episode that featured Tami Roman as a guest co-hosts.
“Lets talk about something that surprisingly a lot of people struggle with. Body dysmorphic disorder. 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 increase and the effects of social media.” Loni then posed the question to her co-hosts “Ladies, have you ever found yourself being overtly critical when it comes to your physical appearance even when your love ones tell you there is nothing wrong with how you look?”
Tami raised her hand and said “well for me it hits very close to home and it’s something that I don’t talk about often. This is like the first time. I feel comfortable enough to talk with you ladies about it. I suffer from body dysmorphia disorder.” She continues “I’ve been dealing with it since I was 13 years old.” According to Tami, it could be hereditary or genetic. However it can also be triggered by “a negative experience where your self-image has been annihilated.”
Tami traces her dysmorphia to being a tall thin girl growing up in New York City. She wanted to be a model so bad and went to an agency. At just 13, she says that the agency “ripped me to shreds.” She said the lady stood her in front of a mirror and pointed out flaws in her body. She said that since that day, every time she looks in the mirror she can find something wrong with herself.
Tami explains that for a long time she did not understand what it was, she only knew that she had to “get skinnier” and had to “get smaller” because she wanted to be a model. She began abusing laxatives and would stop eating for extended periods of time. At her worst, she wired her mouth shut in 1993 to help he remain skinny. She says now at 50, she has type 2 diabetes and struggles to manage the fluctuating weight that comes with it. She says that people do not understand what it means to struggle with this disorder, and that negative comments calling her a “bobble head” or telling her that she is too frail often make her feel good like she is on the right track to weight loss rather than pursuing more health alternatives.