At whatever stage in life that you were diagnosed with psoriasis, you likely felt one of four ways:
- Ready to endure
I really hope you reached the latter. Personally, I like to live in my frustration and negative self-talk but I haven’t let my skin dictate what I wear for the past few years and I am really grateful I’ve been able to reach that level of IDGAF-ness.
Follow @lssdlr_ on Instagram. We are already fangirling.
So now, in peak summer time, you have to choose.
Am I going to be embarrassed and cover up my skin when I am out in sunny situations? Am I going to just say no to plans altogether and stay home? Am I going to show my skin the vitamin D it deserves, then risk getting pointed at and have to answer rude or ignorant questions (ex. “Oh honey, did you get bit by bugs? You look like you’ve been eaten alive!”, “Ew, what is that?”, “Is it contagious?”, “I’m glad you show off your skin despite it looking the way it does.”) and give up and put a cover-up on? Or am I going to just say f$%k it and just endure?
Follow @mypsoriasistimeline on Instagram. In the words of @JVN, another psoriasister, “Can you believe?! She looks SHAMAZING!”
We all know this and have heard it over and over in awesome women empowerment campaigns: EVERY BODY IS A SUMMER BODY/BIKINI BODY/ETC.
We know it, but acting like we know it is a whole other ball game. Society demands that we have perfect, even skin. Whether it be light or dark, it should look nice, be smooth, and be hairless. Certain cultures uphold appearance to near impossible standards. Whether you have guttate, inverse or plaque psoriasis, your body is not following societal and cultural rules for women. So yes, we know that every body is a summer body and deserves to see the sun. But by taking off that big t-shirt, by rolling up those sleeves, by putting on those shorts, we are welcoming the entire world to our psoriasis party.
Follow @veganandpsoriasis on Instagram. Not only does she look PHENOMENAL in this picture, but Georgia is training to be a personal trainer and wants to focus on helping others diagnosed with psoriasis. She understands the unique discomfort and embarrassment that working out can cause and wants to create a comfy and enjoyable work out place for other psoriasisters in her area. We are expecting great things from her!
For a lot of us, it’s a party of one. It’s a personal journey that you manage to live with. For some, it’s a family and close friends party. For the brave few, it’s a public party.
When you are diagnosed with psoriasis, it really pays to have a strong support network medically and emotionally. And if you think about the level of acceptance that has been rising in the past 100 years for POC and LGBTQIA+, it is partially because they have built their support networks but also because they have been brought into the spotlight by each other and people outside of their communities.
Follow @runawayraver on Instagram. Is anyone else ready for festival season now? She looks incredible!
A few years ago I was the heaviest weight I had ever been, had psoriasis spreading from one section of my body to my entire body, had a bad haircut and color, no romantic life in sight and was continuing to build my self-esteem from the ground up. I don’t know why and I don’t know how, but a little switch flipped in me and I cared, but about something different.
Follow @psoriasisacceptance on Instagram. *sigh* Wish we were there right now…
I cared that people knew I had psoriasis.
I started talking about it more casually, educating people on what it is and what my options are and noticed something else. When I shared that information with people, I didn’t care if they saw my skin or not. In fact, I showed them! I didn’t ask if it was okay to show them (because that means it’s not okay to look at or its too gross to look at); I would just lift up my arm and point to some examples on my body.
Follow @psoriasis_and_me on Instagram. She’s beauty and she’s grace…she’s @psoriasis_and_me!
That’s how I got to where I am but that’s not how everyone gets there. It took me 13 years. It took puberty, self-esteem, boat parties, ignorant questions, long cries in the bathroom, and frustration. You get there when you get there but that’s your journey, girl. Take it how you want it.
Follow @the_crafting_spot on Instagram. All the Saturday backyard BBQ vibes.
Personally, if I see a fellow psoriasister at the beach, I’m giving you a high five!