“I am Bénédicte, I have psoriasis in all its forms. I have been on social media for almost a year now. At the beginning I did this to talk about my relationship with motherhood and education with my son. After some great encounters, I decided to talk a bit more about my everyday life with the disease. Since it not only affects my body but also my joints and invisible pains. I now speak more and more about self-acceptance because through all the encounters I made, I got a few small kicks in the butt where I was told “you are really pretty, embrace yourself , your skin condition is nothing, you are strong and you are a warrior ”. I like to talk to every women, so they can realize we have to take ownership of our body. Our body is a vessel of life, a vessel we will spend a while with. And women are not enough represented in the image industry. It's a pity we see idealized representations of beauty, if we spoke a little more about diverse beauty, women would be less unhappy than they are today.
I am sick. But I am not my disease. Nor his stigmata.
I have experienced, I am suffering and will continue to suffer, hurtful remarks, sidelong glances, shifty eyes, attitudes of pity, people who changing sidewalks because they do not know. Because they ignore what’s on my body and bruises my joints. All these words, these glances, these actions are much more anchored in me than what is drawn on my skin, than these unbearable pains in my joints. As a teenager I was rejected, laughed at, even worse, harassed, because I didn't look like what is called ‘normal’. Because I was different. I wanted to die. It's fucking hard to say. To write.
I wanted to take my life because I listened to them. I made my own opinion of their judgments. And I was even tougher than them. I ended up hating being in my skin. I mutilated myself. I starved myself. I tried to destroy myself. To destroy my body, my soul. Because of shame. The shame of not finding myself somewhere. Ashamed to find myself ugly. Far from those hot chicks who deserved to be loved. Today I understood my worth. I understood that I had the right to be visible. That I had to, for me, for those, who like me one day, today, yesterday, tomorrow, might feel like I did.
Every step towards self-acceptance is a victory against ignorance, against the stupidity of haters.”