TikToker Mikayla Nogueira said she’s been avoiding wedding dress shopping.
In a TikTok series, Nogueira, who struggles with body dysmorphia, opened up about her anxiety about the event.
Viewers responded with encouragement, advice, and their own stories of dysmorphia.
Less than six months before her wedding, 24-year-old makeup influencer and social media superstar Mikayla Nogueira went to try on wedding dresses for the first time, she said. In a series of videos Nogueira shared with her 14.4 million followers over the weekend, she opened up about putting off dress shopping “as long as she could,” and discussed her struggle with body dysmorphia.
Responding to a comment from a viewer concerned that she still didn’t have a dress, Nogueira appeared to be crying.
“Today I’m going to be picking out my wedding dress,” the Massachusetts native began, in a January 21 video. “And these are not happy days.”
“There is absolutely a reason why I have put this off,” she added. “I’m not looking forward to this day. I haven’t been, and that’s a weird thing to say. I feel like, growing up, little girls — they look forward to a day like this, right?” Nogueira continued. “But I feel like it’s different when you have body dysmorphia and an eating disorder, and you’re really insecure.” The video has since been viewed more than 12.4 million times.
Body dysmorphia is a mental health disorder that affects how a person views their physical self, with symptoms including comparisons to others and fixating on perceived flaws. It personally affects an estimated five to ten million people in the United States, Insider’s Sarah Fielding previously reported.
In a four-part series of videos posted on January 21 and 22, Nogueira created a bridal makeup look while discussing her anxiety over the event.
Nogueira told viewers she’d avoided even looking through wedding dresses online. Her appointment, she said, was at the wedding dress shop that happened to rank first on a Google search, adding —”hopefully it’s good, because I have no idea.”
“I really struggle with body dysmorphia,” she said, “and just knowing that I’m going to have to be looking at myself in a mirror today quite a lot is not going to be easy for me. I try really hard not to look in the mirror because I just pick myself apart, but today I kind of have to.”
In between applying powder and bronzer and offering commentary on her makeup products, Noguiera shared that she’d felt “something was wrong” while growing up when she had to change in a “private, separate room” for gym class as her peers changed together in another. (According to the Cleveland Clinic, body dysmorphic disorder is most likely to start in a person’s teens or early adult years).
In another TikTok posted on January 21, Nogueira told viewers doing her makeup put her in a state of calm, adding in a video posted the next day that she’d be “dead without makeup.”
“There were many times in my life when makeup was the only thing that kept me going,” she explained, “and that is still true to this day.”
“Still to this day,” Nogueira said, “I don’t feel like I fit in as an influencer in general because I am not like the fucking beauty standard in any way. I hate taking selfies for Instagram because I can’t even stand to look at myself.”
“I’m going to be really anxious today,” Nogueira said at the end of the series, having changed into a white sweatshirt with the word “Mrs.” on it. “It’s going to be really difficult. But, after doing my makeup, I feel better. So, here we go. Let’s go get a fucking wedding dress.”
In response, viewers chimed in with words of encouragement, many sharing their own bittersweet experiences trying on wedding dresses while battling the disorder.
“I also struggle with body dysmorphia,” one commenter wrote. “When I went wedding dress shopping, I was genuinely surprised by how pretty I looked in the mirror.” Another, who mentioned experiencing the disorder, assured Nogueira “there is something magical about wedding gowns, you will feel like a princess.”
“Project Runway” contestant Gunnar Deatherage responded to Nogueira on January 22 and offered to create a custom dress if she didn’t find the right one that day. “As someone who has struggled their entire life with body dysmorphia,” Deatherage said, “I get it.”
In a follow-up video on January 23, Nogueira told viewers she’d found her wedding dress, and shared in the caption that it had “turned out to be a magical day.” (She also shared footage of all the dresses she tried and didn’t pick).
“I did feel like a princess, I won’t lie,” Nogueira told viewers. “I felt pretty good.”
Nogueira did not immediately return Insider’s request for comment.
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