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There is no doubt that appearances are nearly never what they seem. While everything may look downright perfect on the outside, there are often difficult goings on inside, things that can be hard to talk about and admit. Things that are easier kept in the darkness. But when you live life in the public eye, it can be difficult to stay in that darkness for too long.

Eventually, everything tucked inside must see the light.

Just ask singer Lindi Ortega, who bravely shares her longtime struggles with a condition called body dysmorphic disorder in an essay published on March 6 in Lenny Letter.

“When I was 13, I showed up to a party where I happened to be wearing the same top as one of the ‘pretty girls” in my class,” she explains in her essay about the origin of her struggle. “Noting this, a boy lined us up side by side and decided it would be fun to compare us. His cruel assessment of me, in front of my peers, was devastating. Up until that point, I hadn’t really had any comparison for my looks; I thought I was normal. It wasn’t until people told me I was ugly that I started to believe that I truly was. Ever since then, I have struggled with my appearance, and my self-image grew so distorted that I actually convinced myself I was deformed.”

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A Canadian-born country artist and two-time CCMA Roots Artist of the Year winner best known for songs such as “Tin Star,” “Ashes” and “The Day You Die,” the talented Lindi is now looking forward to moving forward and telling her story through the music on her forthcoming three-part concept album, “Liberty,” set for release on March 30.

The essay goes on to explain that Lindi actually when to a psychologist during her college years, eventually being diagnosed with body dysmorphic disorder, also known as BDD. That condition has led her into to depression, excessive drinking and even a botched cosmetic procedure on her nose throughout the years.

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“I am not cured of BDD, but I have learned to cope,” she writes in the essay. “People often ask me where my dark, lonely songs come from. This is that place. Though I often wish that less value were placed on image and that it [was] good enough for people to simply listen to my music, the beauty I seek now is a different kind. It’s the kind that comes from the heart and spreads like wildfire. Society may be obsessed with youth and physical perfection, but I won’t buy into that way of thinking.”

And neither will we.

Good luck Lindi … we will be rooting for you.

Tricia Despres is a senior correspondent for Rare Country, based out of Chicago. Join the conversation on Twitter at @RareCountry. We would love to see y’all there.
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