When women think of self-esteem and loving themselves where they are right now, they often look at celebrities and models and judge themselves accordingly–never thinking that what is being shown on TV and in the magazines is not telling the entire story. I dream of a world where women get over these comparisons and begin to care for themselves wherever they are in their journey. Photography can heal, but glossy over-touched advertising images can have the opposite effect.
When I take photographs I seek to reveal the real beauty of a person’s soul. Quite often, women are afraid to have their photo taken. They fear that they will look silly or some perceived imperfection will be exposed.
And I want to point out that even the celebrities and models you admire are often dealing with many of the same issues you are. I’ve written about my own struggles dealing with an auto-immune disease and how I strive every single day to radiate health and vitality.
Singer, songwriter, actress and activist, Cyndi Lauper, has decided to partner with the National Psoriasis Foundation and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation on “I’m PsO Ready”, a national initiative highlighting the physical, emotional and social challenges of psoriasis. The program aims to inspire people with psoriasis to speak up and celebrate their everyday successes.
Cindy Lauper has revealed that she is living with psoriasis, a condition that affects as many as 7.5 million Americans. Like many with this condition, Lauper has struggled physically and emotionally, and she has gone to great lengths to cover up her skin before public appearances. (Learn more about Lauper’s psoriasis story at MoreToPsOriasis.com.)
“My psoriasis made me want to hide, but being in the public eye I knew I couldn’t stay inside,” said Lauper. “During performances I have skin-colored fishnets that I wear to cover the redness and spots or I would wear long sleeves, leather pants. I also use makeup to cover my skin. When I would sweat, because I don’t stand still and sing, it would make the psoriasis even worse.”
After her diagnosis in 2010, Lauper worked with a physician and sought home remedies to control her psoriasis. While some therapies worked temporarily, Lauper’s psoriasis would come back, leading to frustration and a sense of hopelessness. After learning more about this condition and talking to others, Lauper wants to share her story and help those affected by psoriasis.
“I am usually a very vocal and open person, but I think sharing your psoriasis story is very personal and takes a lot of courage. Raising awareness and educating others is critical. It is very easy to feel isolated,” Lauper noted. “Through I’m PsO Ready, I want people living with the condition to understand that we don’t have to be embarrassed, we don’t have to cover up and we don’t have to settle for life the way it is.”
I’m PsO Ready is part of a larger disease awareness initiative—More To PsOriasis—to help people communicate about the realities of life with psoriasis. MoreToPsOriasis.com features information and resources, as well as unique multi-media content including:
- Cyndi’s experience – Lauper will share her personal journey with psoriasis through videos and inspirational quotes, including the ways she lives a healthy life.
- That’s PsO My Reality – A one-of-a-kind docu-series that follows real people as they take on the daily challenges of managing psoriasis.
- Regular updates from Lauper on lifestyle tips, psoriasis-specific events and access to additional patient resources.
Psoriasis is a chronic, systemic disease of the immune system that most often appears on the skin as painful, red, itchy patches. Studies have shown psoriasis can have a similar impact as other serious illnesses, such as cancer and hypertension, with 94 percent of people reporting that psoriasis impacts their daily life.
“For some people, living with psoriasis can be isolating and cause a lot of embarrassment and low self-esteem,” said Dr. Colby Evans, chair of the National Psoriasis Foundation Board of Directors. “Many people with psoriasis limit dating and social interactions because of their condition. Our hope is that I’m PsO Ready encourages and inspires people with psoriasis to realize they are not alone and to help them take control of their condition.”
The most common type of psoriasis is plaque psoriasis, affecting 80 percent of people with the condition. People with psoriasis are at an increased risk for obesity, cardiovascular disease, depression, hypertension, metabolic syndrome and Crohn’s disease, among other associated conditions.
“We are continually inspired by the courage of the psoriasis community who struggle with this isolating condition every day,” said Christi Shaw, president of NPC. “By partnering with NPF and Cyndi, we want to unite the millions of Americans who have psoriasis through a message of empowerment and hope.”
To learn more about the campaign and to say I’m PsO Ready to deal with psoriasis, visit MoreToPsoriasis.com.
A message of empowerment and hope… it’s that something all of us can use.
Keep loving yourselves in front of, and behind, the camera, ladies.
Feel Beautiful form the Inside Out!
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About Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi Lauper is a singer, songwriter, actress and activist. Her career has spanned over 30 years. Her 1983 debut solo album, She’s So Unusual, was the first debut female album to chart four top-five hits on the Billboard Hot 100 and earned her the Best New Artist award at the 27th Grammy Awards® in 1985.
Since 1989, Lauper has released nine studio albums and participated in many other projects. Her most recent album, Memphis Blues, became Billboard’s most successful blues album of the year, remaining at #1 on the Billboard Blues Albums chart for 13 consecutive weeks. In 2013, Lauper won the Tony Award® for Best Original Score for the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, making her the first woman in history to win the composing category by herself. She became the first artist in over 25 years to top the dance charts with a Broadway tune. In 2014, Lauper was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album for the cast recording.
About the National Psoriasis Foundation
National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) is the world’s largest nonprofit serving those with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. Our priority is to provide the information and services people need to take control of their condition, while increasing research to find a cure. In addition to serving more than 2.1 million people annually through our health education and advocacy initiatives, NPF has funded more than $13 million in psoriatic disease research grants and fellowships. Learn more about the Psoriasis Foundation at www.psoriasis.org or call 800-723-9166. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.