Body Dysmporphic Disorder is a condition that is thought to affect up to 2.4% of the world population. Those affected become obsessed with what they consider to be gross defects in their appearance. Even when looking in a mirror they will see these imagined defects magnified and exaggerated. Though the symptoms were first described in the nineteenth century, it was only forty years ago that they were finally classified as a medical disorder. 

Gunnlöð Jóna Rúnarsdóttir sets out to show us in a series of photographs what the victims of Body Dysmorphic Disorder experience and how devastating this condition can be. This poses an immediate problem: How do you convey in a photograph something that exists only in the mind? The victim's delusions are, of course, not visible to others - nor to the camera. Gunnlöð Jóna found sufferers who were willing to be photographed for her project and interviewed them to find out exactly how they saw themselves - what defects they perceived. She then manipulated her photography prints by cutting, pasting and sewing them together until they reflected how the women in her photographs had told her they saw themselves. These images draw our attention to a serious problem but Gunnlöð Jóna has also managed in a most striking manner - to show us what is going on in the minds of the women she photographed. 


Text : Jón Proppé 

Models: Salka Helgadóttir, Sara Mansour, Megan Hacker. 

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