Shame and covering up

I remember the first time I saw someone with Psoriasis. I had no idea about the disease and simply saw a person with this nasty patch of scales on their arm. I felt that the right thing to do at the time was to focus on whatever job I was doing and not draw attention to this persons discomfort.

The problem, as I would find out later in life is that normal morality or my normal, is not the same as everyone else. And the story goes like this……

I walked into a shop on a hot summers day and was greeted with “oh god, would you ever cover that up”…………. I got very angry but decided to educate rather than take offence.

My reply was “you should not speak to people like that, I have Psoriasis and lots of people have this skin condition and covering it up in hot weather is bad for it”… so the next time you see someone with it, be grateful you don’t suffer from it”……..

The result was an apologetic person, who realised that they were discriminating, due to someone else’s illness. But that’s the way people are, they don’t see their poor behaviour, instead they see their discomfort as more important that common decency.

I’ve had the same from people I know, and from random strangers. But you don’t stop and stare at someone else’s disfigurement or a person with a wine port birthmark or a physical deformity, equally you would not draw attention to someone that has mobility issues. So why am I any different. I have a disease that has its challenges. Do I not get the same treatment or is it that outwardly I seem ok apart from my skin, so that makes it ok…… no it’s not ok

As I write this I’m reminded of the countless body shaming attempts or attacks that I’ve experienced. However I refuse to cover up my skin just to make other people comfortable. My health and well being are as equally important and if staying cool helps to relieve the pain and irritation of my Psoriasis, then how dare anyone try to shame me into covering up.

If you have been shamed, you turn it right back at them. That type of behaviour belongs in the past.