A body painter is using her creative talents to illustrate the crippling mental health condition which makes her feel 'repulsed' by her own body.
Jodie Broadley suffers from Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) – which warps her perception of how she looks and causes her to focus on perceived flaws in her appearance.
With Fixers she has made a film showing how negative thoughts permeate her daily life. In the clip Jodie narrates some of her darkest thoughts, while a model, which she has painted, is representative of the mental turmoil BDD brings.
The 26-year-old says: ‘I spend countless hours prodding, picking and poking the body that repulses me so much. I can't stand to look in the mirror, I worry about going out in public, and I'm convinced people are just as repulsed by my appearance as I am.
‘Whenever I try to talk to people about how I’m feeling, they sympathise and say they get ugly days too, but it’s not the same.'
Jodie wants to show that BDD is a serious mental health condition which makes every day life hard.
‘I have spells of between two weeks and a month where I won’t leave the house – I know when it’s coming because I start really not liking myself, getting anxious and crying more,’ she says.
‘If I go out without make-up on I will sometimes have a bit of a wobble. Once when I wasn’t wearing any I bumped into a friend and when I got home I had a complete melt-down.
‘I couldn’t stop crying and I kept thinking about what they must have thought after seeing me. I couldn’t just get on with things – I thought I had ruined that person’s day just by looking at them.’
Jodie explains the concept behind her body art which features on the model in the Fixers film.
‘I’ve painted the broken heart, to show how painful it is, a knot in the stomach to show how anxious it makes you and scars to portray the hurt you cause yourself,’ she says.
‘It’s all linked in to the feelings you have when you’re body dysmorphic. Explaining it in words is hard for me, but painting it and making it visual shows people how awful it actually is.
‘There are times when I bring my condition up and nobody’s heard of it, and that saddens me. I wanted to show how serious it can be.’
Jodie tells how body art not only helps her express her emotions, it helps her build her self-esteem.
'For me, love and support helps me see past this negative image and my passion for body art is my saviour, helping me deal with my demons.
'Whilst it is still a struggle every day, I want people to know that it can get better and we do deserve to be happy. Learn to love yourself; don't be afraid to talk about how you feel. Surround yourself with love, support and people that you can talk to.'
To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.