It was National Eczema Awareness week earlier this month. The Eczema Society also celebrated it’s 40th anniversary. Great news all round.
Eczema is a horrible condition which, at its best, can be a minor irritation getting in the way of basic daily tasks; at its worst it can cause severe psychological distress and prevent its sufferers from taking part in a full and active life. In its moderate form it can simply make a person feel unattractive and less confident about their appearance than their smooth skinned neighbour.
Awareness weeks like this can help to relieve sufferers of little understood conditions of the need to explain what it is that they are dealing with by showing honest pictures and making those images more common. No it isn’t a rash or a burn and it isn’t catching but it’s never going away and that’s something we have learned to live with.
Which is why my mood took a bit of a nose dive when I saw most of the accompanying pictures of the coverage:
Take for example this poor slim white lady with perfect skin – she looks like she’s been up all night battling with that burning unrelenting itch:
And yikes! – attractive, slim blonde lady – that little invisible patch of dry skin on your arm must be driving you simply insane! :
Carry on digging and there is no end to the images paraded by the press of beautiful women with perfect skin representing a condition which effects women and men of all nationalities, shapes and sizes.
Just like we have had to learn to live with the niggling annoyance of the perpetual itch, so too it seems do we have to live with the endless irritation of the glorious western white body ideal being trotted out to represent the condition.
Frustrating? Yes. Thoughtless? Very much so. But also so, so damaging. Read more here.