“I am glad you are confident anyway.”
I knew she didn’t mean anything by it really but adding that little word on the end of the sentence was a bit of a dig, flung on the end as if I shouldn’t be confident about my psoriasis. It reminded me just how far we still have to go.
It wasn’t the ideal message to receive at 7:30am on a Monday morning. A reply from a casting researcher after I responded saying I was confident and accepting of my visible difference and didn’t think I was the right fit for the makeover show.
I was angry. That one little word riled me, and I wanted to write back telling her all the things that were wrong by adding that one short word to the sentence. Then I sat back, took a deep breath and realised that it’s not the casting researcher that’s the problem, it’s society.
We still live in a world where makeover shows are created to show people they can look great and love themselves, have confidence they never thought they could have. People like me, with a visible difference. But here’s the thing, not everyone with a visible difference is insecure about their looks.
In fact, these shows highlight how, as a society, we are led to believe that there is something wrong, and we should be ashamed of anything that is deemed different from the norm. But what is normal? The fact is, there is no one description of what is the norm and what society should see as the norm and really, it’s people who believe there is who should be ashamed.
In 2019 I am confused by the number of people who are amazed and shocked by myself confidence and acceptance. I am constantly asked how my psoriasis impacts how I feel about myself and do I feel ashamed by it. The answer is simply no, I don’t.
My psoriasis is part of me, but I am in no way defined by it. So please, drop your ‘anyway’ and embrace self-love and acceptance.