Revisiting ‘Kuppiya Phase One’

Revisiting ‘Kuppiya Phase One’

“You are beautiful just the way you are”, this set of words is quite hard to live by in the twenty-first century. Generation Z is believed to have a lifestyle that eradicates the idea of being comfortable in your own skin and tends to chase the illusion of perfection which has given rise to various mental health problems such as Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). If you have BDD, you may experience frustration and anxiety about the appearance of your body, and that it gets in the way of your ability to live normally. Many of us have what we think are flaws in our appearance. But if you have BDD, your reaction to this “flaw” may become overwhelming. Kuppiya Phase One was specifically aimed to discuss these unfortunate mental instabilities, which have the potential of causing serious issues in one’s life.

The International Service Avenue of the Rotaract Club of the University of Colombo, Faculty of Arts, organized Kuppiya Phase One to discuss the prevalent issue of Body Dysmorphic Disorder. This webinar was held on the 14th of October 2021 with the presence of three Social Media Activists, namely Ms Nethmi Liyanapathirana to represent the struggle of body dysmorphia within women, Ms Thanu Jayawardane to discuss the LGBTQ and related body dysmorphia issues and Mr Yonathan Rommel, who provided insight regarding male body dysmorphia.

Questions like “is there any personal moment where you faced any insecurities” immediately called for all for us to relate. Not only that, the representation of male and LGBTQ communities through the webinar succeeded in challenging the conventional notion that BDD is something which is only experienced by women. From what the guest speakers conveyed, it was suggested that like many other mental health conditions, body dysmorphic disorder may result from a combination of issues, such as a family history of the disorder, abnormalities in the brain, and negative evaluations or experiences about your body or self-image.

One interesting question was raised concerning a potential source of the problem; “How toxic are the social media influencers who heavily edit their pictures and set unrealistic beauty standards?” The millennials tend to look up to these so-called “social media influencers” and redefine beauty standards that are not coming off as healthy interpretations of beauty.

The discussion ultimately came upon prevention and treatment of Body Dysmorphic Disorder which shed light upon the fact that shame and embarrassment about your appearance may keep one from seeking treatment for body dysmorphic disorder. But it was strongly stated that seeing your primary care provider or a mental health professional would prove to be extremely beneficial in treating BDD. Body dysmorphic disorder in most cases doesn’t get better on its own. If left untreated, it may get worse over time, leading to anxiety, extensive medical bills, severe depression, and even suicidal thoughts and behavior.

There’s no definitive way to prevent body dysmorphic disorder, as what works for one person may not necessarily work for another. However, because body dysmorphic disorder often starts in the early teenage years, and therefore, identifying the disorder early and going to see your therapist or treatment is vital.

– Rtr. Hansy Paboda

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