In this blog post, we shall answer the question “did Venus Angelic have an eating disorder?” and look at her case of unsuccessful weight loss surgery that almost cost her life. We will use Venus’ case to understand what body dysmorphia is, its causes and symptoms.
Did Venus Angelic have an eating disorder?
No, Venus Angelic denied claims she had an eating disorder. However, from her story, it is definite that she meets the criteria for diagnosing an eating disorder. She underwent an illegal surgery when she was 53kgs, claiming that she was fat.
Let us look in detail at who Venus is and her story of an illegal surgery that almost cost her life.
Who is Venus Angelic?
Venus Isabelle Palermo, better known as Venus Angelic, is a swiss YouTuber who is famous for her doll-like look. In 2012, she posted a YouTube video, about how to look like a doll, which made her widely known as ‘the living doll’. She lived a normal life until 2016 when she travelled to Korea to have a weight loss surgery despite weighing 53kgs.
Venus claims she contacted over 50 doctors until she found one who was willing to do the procedure. The procedure involved stitching a part of her belly and removing 120cm of her intestines. After her procedure, her weight dropped to 38kgs at one point, which made her get admitted and was treated with stomach medication and fed through an IV drip.
Consequences of Venus’ surgery
According to an interview by Daily Mail, Venus claimed that the surgery was a success as she could maintain her initial weight of 53kgs. She, however, had kept the surgery a secret for a year to seem naturally slender.
Afterwards, she became very ill and could not eat or drink anything and was constantly vomiting. This prompted her weight to drop to 38kgs and had to be taken to the hospital. The doctors feared for her life and had to feed her via an IV drip. They realized that food was leaking through the closed area of her stomach and she needed immediate surgery to correct it.
This entire ordeal prompted her to recede from her doll craze and come back to normalcy. Venus’ case showed that she suffered from disordered eating and body dysmorphia. Let us now look at what body dysmorphia is and the symptoms.
What is body dysmorphic disorder?
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental disorder where one cannot stop thinking about the flaws in their appearance. Most of these flaws are perceived or very minor that others cannot see them. These perceived flaws make one so embarrassed that they isolate from social circles and seek cosmetic procedures to correct the flaws.
Venus Angelic is thought to have surgeries because she doesn’t like the flaws oh her body and want to look like a doll.
Common features people with BDD focus on:
- Facial features like the nose or lips
- Size and shape of genitalia and breasts
- Body hairs and facial hairs
- Skin, i.e. moles, freckles, acne or scars
- Muscle size or tone
Signs and symptoms of Body Dysmorphic Disorder
Hiding so that others cannot see the offending body part
This is isolating yourself by avoiding work, social gatherings, school and public places so that others may not see you or leaving the hours during odd hours when people are unlikely to see you.
Repeatedly spending a lot of time on the mirror or avoiding mirrors altogether
You check yourself on the mirror compulsively, especially when you are alone or you avoid mirrors because seeing your reflection causes distress.
Avoiding your picture from being taken
You avoid gatherings where photos will be taken or police pictures to make sure people don’t post your flaws for the world to see
Undergoing plastic surgery to correct the perceived imperfection
Like Venus Angelic, people with BDD like undergoing procedures, thinking they will fix their problems, but even after it is done, they don’t get satisfied with your results
Spending a lot of time camouflaging or hiding the perceived ugly body part
You use makeup, accessories, or clothing to cover up your flaws. You might also position your body in a way that covers your flaws, wear hats or put on baggy clothes to hide your flaws.
Picking your skin compulsively, leading to injury
This is also a sign of OCD, but if it is done intending to improve looks or do away with a flaw, then it is a symptom of BDD
Comparing yourself negatively to others
You compare yourself to pictures of your younger self or with celebrities and criticize yourself using those as comparisons.
Overspending on personal grooming
You spend most of your income on products that will enhance your look and after a while; you get delusions about these products and therefore look for other better treatment options.
Risk factors of BDD
Attaching your value to how you look makes you become obsessed with how you look, as it is what makes you feel valuable. Having low self-esteem can make you become fixated on certain aspects of your body.
Fear of rejection or being alone
If you feel your body has to be a certain way so that you can fit into a certain group of friends or have a partner, there is a likelihood of developing BDD as you would do anything to maintain those standards. The breakdown of the friendship or relationship might worsen the symptoms and make you more concerned about your appearance.
Striving for perfectionism
Trying to become physically perfect can make one develop BDD. wanting to look like the celebrity you look like contributes to the development of BDD. if you have a job that focuses on your appearance is also a risk factor i.e gymnastics, modelling or bodybuilding.
If there is a close family member with BDD, then there’s a likelihood of you developing it. However, there is no apparent reason to determine whether the symptoms are caused by genetics or are gained behaviours.
Depression, anxiety and OCD
People with other mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, or OCD are at a high risk of developing BDD. It is, however, not clear whether these illnesses cause BDD or BDD causes the onset of these illnesses.
Abuse and bullying
Abuse and bullying from a young age regarding your physical appearance can cause the development of BDD. it causes the development of a negative body image and makes you obsessed with your looks. Bullying in the teenage hood also affects how you view yourself as your body is changing.
Treatment for body dysmorphia
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
This is the most recommended type of therapy when treating BDD. It helps the individual in recognizing the negative thought patterns, changing them into positive thinking patterns and also finding positive coping mechanisms for dealing with BDD. It will help you step outside your body and view your body in an aim and forgiving manner.
There is no specific medication that has been made to treat BDD. However, some antidepressants like Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) help in easing anxious and obsessive behaviours. They also help to manage depression, a condition that co-occurs with BDD.
Self-help tips for managing BDD
Join a support group
Getting together with people going through the same thing can help you feel understood, not judged, and make you open to new suggestions and ideas.
Stay focused on your goals
Always keep your recovery goals in mind and keep on analyzing them to determine if you are still achieving them
Don’t become isolated
Try as much as possible to reconnect with family and friends you feel bring positivity to your life and who are healthy support systems
Write in a journal
This will help you track your moods and you can identify your self-defeating thought patterns, emotions and behaviours and what causes them. This will help you identify ways to curb these feelings before they become catastrophic.
Take care of yourself
Make sure to always eat a well-balanced diet, have enough sleep and do exercise.
Learn relaxation techniques
Practice breathing techniques, yoga or meditation that will help you relax, sleep better and improve your mood.
Don’t make important decisions when you are feeling distressed
Making rash decisions when you are distressed might make you regret the decision later, i.e, shaving your hair after feeling discouraged when someone mentions that your hair looks terrible.
Lifestyle changes and home remedies for BDD
Some lifestyle changes and home remedies for BDD include:
- Pay attention to warning signs
- Avoid alcohol and other drugs
- Educate yourself about BDD
- Stick to your treatment plan
- Practice learned strategies
- Get active
We hope that the blog post has shed light on who Venus Angelic is, whether she had an eating disorder, and her botched surgery and its effects. We have also discussed what body dysmorphia is, the signs and symptoms and the risk factors. Finally, we looked at the treatment options for body dysmorphia and the self-care tips for managing body dysmorphic disorder.
Frequently asked questions: Did Venus Angelic have an eating disorder?
What surgery did Venus Angelic have?
In May 2016, Venus travelled to Korea and underwent a weight-loss surgery when she still weighed 53kgs.
What country is Venus Angelic from?
Venus is a Swiss National
What are weight-loss surgery options?
- Roux-en-Y gastric bypass
- Sleeve gastrectomy
- Adjustable gastric banding
None of these procedures is a quick, simple and easy fix for weight loss and has their pros and cons.
Nzherald.co.nz (May 8, 2018). Blogger undergoes weight-loss surgery despite being only 53kg. Retrieved from https://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/blogger-undergoes-weight-loss-surgery-despite-being-only-53kg/L2L63CIWQAJH6QP3UDLOB3HNJE/
Venus Angelic Official, (September 5, 2019). Illegal Weight Loss Surgery Story. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6L36GqElm4
Brennan S. (May 7, 2018). Blogger underwent weight-loss surgery despite only weighing eight and a half stone – and was left close to death. Retrieved from https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-5699113/Eight-stone-blogger-left-close-death-surgery.html