Tonight I wrote this for Facebook and thought I'd publish it here.
This is what ichthyosis looks like.
It's not often I show off my body - in photos or in real life. It's not that I am embarrassed of my body - of the redness or super dry skin. I'm not embarrassed or ashamed.
I cover up because I am often sore, want to protect myself from the sun, bumps and scratches, and I'm always always cold. I want to prevent infection. Plus I use paraffin to moisturise and it's really hard rubbing against furniture etc. (People have told me to cover up in the past, or not to wear certain colours as they clash with my redness.)
I'm quite proud of my body. It's quite nice, really. And I'm proud that no matter how sore I get, that I sheds 28 days of skin in one day, and that it's itchy and prone to infection, my body keeps going. Like magic. I can move, I can think, I am happy, and gosh I look young (thanks rapid renewal freaky genes!).
I was very sore for a long time - a good (bad?) almost two years. My body didn't feel or look it's best, in respect of skin and weight/shape.
But now I am experiencing much less pain, have less stress in my life, and have more time to look after me because I'm working more flexibly (but probably more than I did when I had a full time day job). I decided that it's time to go back to the gym today. I went for half an hour tonight, and hope to go a few nights after work from now on. I considered using the heated pool, too. So I picked up a va-va-voom pair of bathers and cute beach skirt after the gym.
For the five minutes I tried on the bathers, I felt FABULOUS. I'm feeling (and looking) pretty well right now so I want to keep that up. I'm feeling comfortably back in my size 10 clothes again (though these swimmers are a 12 because BOOBS).
Adam isn't home to take a photo. But the kitchen lighting was flattering and I had a post gym glow, so I snapped some selfies. Hashtag no filter. Hashtag I need a selfie stick. Of course I sent the pics to him first - and I felt like a blushing teenager when he wrote back "wow you look amazing".
If you've got a skin condition, or something else that makes you look different - cover up for comfort, not because you feel like you have to hide. Stop hiding! (So many people write to me saying they hide and cover up because they're embarrassed by how they look - I'm so sad to read their pain.)
Wear clothes that make you feel beautiful.
Don't read the magazines that tell you dry skin and dandruff is unsightly.
Ignore the people who stare at you.
Remember the compliments you've received, forget all the nasty remarks.
Don't let the world make you feel your skin, face and body should not be seen.
Has this blog post made you think or laugh? Why not buy me a drink to show your gratitude? Thanks!
Here's the original post on Facebook if you want to check out the comments.