Blood and Beauty: Mother and Daughter

Guest contribution by Marisa Vega – The first time I realised that my mother might be sick, I was 22 years old. I was listening to public radio and the programme featured an expert who was talking about “Body Dysmorphic Disorder” and how it was a problem afflicting a growing number of girls and women in the United States. At the start of the discussion this expert began running through a checklist of some sort — you know, the kind of “Is this you?” quiz you’d see in a magazine such as Glamour or Seventeen. I could almost see the headline: “Do you have Body Dysmorphic Disorder?” The man must’ve been fifteen psychological symptoms into his rundown when I realised, “Oh my goodness, this list my mother! This list is my mother to a T!” It was a scary thing to come to terms with, but that wasn’t the worst of it. The scarier part was that over half of those symptoms appeared to describe me as well.

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