My psoriasis first appeared at the age of 12 when my parents were getting divorced – and in general, it’s still stress that triggers it now. I haven’t allowed it to stand in my way though. I’ve never worried about wearing short sleeves in front of people, or wearing a bikini on the beach. I just don’t care what anybody thinks because I made a pact with myself long ago that I would really try to not let it affect me.
This doesn’t mean it’s been easy. Just keeping up with the skin care regimen day in, day-out is a real time commitment. And when I have a breakout I have to treat my arms and legs with a topical medicine twice a day, which means waking up even earlier than my usual 6am for work, so that I can wait for the medicine to sink into my skin. At night, I have to get ready for bed even earlier for the same reasons.
But although having psoriasis has been difficult at times, I feel being passionate about musical theatre has uniquely helped me. I love to go on stage, and have always been confident in the talent that I have. And meeting my now-husband made me believe in myself more. Everyone’s got their quirks, and he thought mine were awesome. It didn’t matter to him that I had psoriasis, and it definitely didn’t matter whether I had a breakout or not; he just truly believed in me.
I am so grateful to Dove for showing women like me who have scars and skin conditions. I also love that my skin was a little red in the shots – I want others to see that you don’t have to be like a typical model; I want them to see that people can walk out and have a blotchy neck and still be on a billboard. And now I hope to help other women feel good about themselves, so that they can look at me and know that they’re not alone. They don’t need to care what anybody thinks, or cover themselves up.