Believing in Beauty

Kathryn - Rexburg, Idaho
Entered on February 3, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30

It was the first day I wore shorts since I had been diagnosed with psoriasis, a

chronic skin-disorder. The psoriasis lay in blotches on my left leg; it looked

like scabs that wouldn’t heal. I had been self-conscience about it ever since

I was first diagnosed during my junior year of high school.

While all the other girls were concerned with things like frizzy hair, an extra

pound, or if someone else was wearing the same shirt as them; I was stuck with

worrying about whether or not my whole body in a few years would be covered with

the embarrassing patches of flakey skin. I must admit, I was jealous of them. I

wanted to smack every girl that complained about something stupid like a zit

that you couldn’t even see. At least that goes away in a few days. Mine you

have to fight your whole life. I hated the self-pity, the low self-esteem, and

the especially the way it made me feel towards others. It needed to stop.

As I walked the halls I scanned each of my peers’ faces, looking to see if

they noticed. Were they disgusted? I despised the fact that I had no confidence

anymore. That was why I was walking the halls that day in shorts. I was showing

off my trophy. Maybe if I pretended like I didn’t care, in reality I soon


I wish I could say it was easy for me, but I would just be lying to you and

me. Truth is, I was terrified that day. I’m sure I looked like a fool walking

so fast to my classes and switching my glance every few seconds. But no one

seemed to notice, and slowly I could feel my confidence growing inside me.

Over the months it became a joke to my friends, family, and me. We would see

what random stories we could make up to answer the question, “Oh my gosh! What

happened to your leg?” Mauled by a tiger, shark attack while surfing, or fire

works. Of course no one ever believed me, but I would stick to the story until

they let me be.

Overcoming the emotional strain of psoriasis was not easy but it taught me many

things like having confidence, to just laugh things off, but it especially

taught me how to see beauty in everything and everyone. What gave me the right

to judge others when I, myself didn’t want to be judged?

Because of my fight with psoriasis, I believe in beauty. Not just the beauty

people see as they flip through the pages of a magazine or even the beauty of

those on the big screen, but the beauty in simple things. There is so much out

there we look past, and if we were to just stop for a brief moment we can see

the beauty in practically everything.