I talked to my lovely friend Emily about her skin condition and the journey to loving the skin she's in.
Question One: What’s your name, age, and favorite color.
Emily: My name is Emily Houston, i’m 14 years old, and my favorite color is light pink
Question Two: What is your condition called and what do you like and dislike about it?
Emily: My condition is called Recessive Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (RDEB or just EB for short). It causes my skin to blister and/or come off when bumped, which is obviously a negative because i’m in pain a lot. A positive is that i have super cool scars to show how strong i am!
Question Three: What are the cons of your condition?
Emily: Because my skin is so fragile, i can’t do a lot of fun things ‘normal’ people can do. It used to bother me a lot more, but now i’m okay with it. Plus, obviously, a lot of pain is a negative.
Question Four: How has the media shaped your image of how you should look like?
Emily: The media proposes the ‘ideal’ body image to be flawless and perfect. This weighed on me for a very long time. I wanted nothing more than to just fit in with everyone else, to be what the media, along with myself, considered to be normal. The truth is, literally no one on earth is going to be perfect! It’s physically not possible, and your uniqueness is what makes you special and you should love yourself for your imperfections.
Question five: Going off the last question, do you think it’s important to include pals with skin & other conditions in advertising?
Emily: I think it’s extremely important! The more representation of uniqueness we have in media, the more empowered others with differences feel. It’s very isolating to feel like you’re the only one with your particular condition or ones like it, so i think the more representation we have, the better.
Question six: Branching off of the last question, do you think there’s any representation in the media?
Emily:I think there’s a small portion of representation, but we’re getting to the point it’s more widespread! i’ve seen a few models with my condition, and it’s very empowering to know that we’re on our way to widespread representation.
Question seven: It’s important to love yourself & the skin you’re in. How are you learning to love the skin you’re in?
Emily: I'm learning to love the skin i’m in by accepting myself. As hard as it is at first to accept, i ultimately can’t change my situation and i might as well make the best of it! i think i’m beautiful, and even if other people stare or make comments, it won’t phase me.
Question eight: Do you have any advice for folks who are struggling with loving the skin they’re in?
Emily: No matter your differences or unique qualities, you’re still beautiful! Take the time to sit down with yourself and your body and learn YOUR definition of beauty. Uniqueness is what makes you special, and you should embrace that.