Digital Storytelling Project Examines Body-focused Repetitive Behaviors

Saharra Dixon will present and host a virtual screening of “I’m Picking Me: Stories from Black Folks with BFRBs” on Saturday, June 4, from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The screening is the culmination of Dixon’s work as an Active Minds Emerging Scholars Fellow, and features digital stories created by Black women and femmes with Body-focused Repetitive Behaviors (BFRB) such as hair-pulling and skin-picking.

NEWS Saharra Dixon
Saharra Dixon

“Having a BFRB can come with a lot of shame and stigma, with Black people seeking help and community at far lower rates than most demographics,” says Dixon.

A doctoral candidate in the Department of Health Promotion and Policy, Dixon is also interviewed in a recent Elle Magazine article examining compulsive hair pulling. In it, she describes her own experiences that began when she was ten years old, and offers insight on the socio-cultural factors that influence hair-pulling and exacerbate stigma in Black folks with BFRBs.

“I hadn’t made the connection between ‘good hair’ versus ‘bad hair’ and how much money and energy Black women put into the upkeep of their hair,” she says of her youth.

Dixon’s personal experiences have helped her understand the importance of and to advocate for minority mental health. “I hope this event will help others learn what it means to be Black with a BFRB, and how you can be called in as an ally and mental health advocate. Or, perhaps you'll find a community you didn't know you needed!”

The event is free but pre-registration is required.

Dixon will host a Q&A session immediately following the screening.