I recently got a chance to speak with Licensed Psychologist and Wellness Coach, Dr. Shelly-Ann Collins Rawle about body dysmorphia and body image.
To listen to the full discussion you can listen on Spotify here.
Dr. Shelly-Ann is originally from Jamaica and works with an amazing mental health private practice called The Black Girl Doctor! She is currently based in California and primarily focuses on racial, gender, college and sexual minority mental health.
The Black Girl Doctor is a boutique therapy practice tailored to Black women specializing in the mental health and wellness of women with highly skilled psychologists committed to ensuring that those who chose to lead our communities do not have to sacrifice happiness while fulfilling the calling on their life.
The Black Girl Doctor is completely virtual, confidential and affordable counseling with absolutely no traffic, no parking and no drama!
To learn more about The Black Girl Doctor and book a free consultation you can visit their website, https://www.theblackgirldoctor.com/.
We had an unfiltered discussion about a range of topics related to the body image including the ideology behind body image, difference between eating disorders and disordered eating, social media influence, Brazilian Butt Lifts (BBL), plastic surgery, and much more.
We also addressed the social conditioning some kids may experience from their parents that can be a result of past traumas our parents experienced as kids.
One of the main pieces of advice Dr. Shelly-Ann shares for combatting negative thoughts about individual body images is create a plan to cope and to "challenge it with facts and think about that possibility that maybe you are not as unattractive as you think."
We need more Rihanna's with Fenty Beauty as positive portrayals of body image in media and women who lead us into a celebration of joy to feel confident in our own skin.
Growing up as a African American woman, who has some meat on my bones, I learned to appreciate my body type with all my "flaws" because of the generations of women who came before me.
From my mother to my grandmother to my great-grandmother who I am so blessed to still have by my side they beautifully and unapologetically carry themselves with grace, dignity and class.
They taught me how to serve face without foundation, rock my naturally curly headed crown and that showing less is more.
While I do not judge those who choose to make minor adjustments to their bodies, I do believe it is important to do your research, know the facts, and seek professional advice before making a permanent lifelong decision.
As Dr. Shelly says, you can have it fast, easy or cheap but you cant have all three!
So take the first steps by planning ways to strategically reframe how you treat yourself and talk to yourself and ask for support as needed.
As a reminder, I am not a clinical licensed professional but I am an advocate for mental health support.
If you are having a mental health emergency call 911. Or reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).
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