Growing up with an unidentifiable skin disease that blackens your joints and makes your feet horrendously ugly has been very difficult in a society that looks down upon anything that doesn’t match with the pre-set design of a ‘female’ figure.
Obsession with fair-skin is known to all and there has been a considerable amount of conversation around this social stigma, but this society is also not welcoming of those with an ‘unusual’ skin texture that may occur because of a disease or otherwise. I was constantly reminded to hide my feet when in public and was recommended by ever-caring people to get rid of it as early as possible. Despite innumerable attempts to root out the bacteria from my body and draining a humungous amount of money in the process, I still can’t show my skin in public. I am still hesitant to wear shorts and half sleeve dresses when I go out.
I have tried to ignore all those questions thrown at me about the disease and whether it is contagious but it is not easy to turn a blind eye repeatedly. I definitely want to be cured of it at the earliest but not because society doesn’t approve or that it might affect my marriage prospects. I want to have clear and patch-free skin for my own happiness. I want to walk out free from all kinds of self-constructed insecurities and come out of this self-denial mode I’m always in. Meanwhile, when I walk revealing my ugly feet out on roads, I don’t want people to make disgusting faces when they catch a glimpse of them. I also don’t want to be treated as a helpless and needy person who is hungry for sympathy.
Let’s make this society a happy place to live in where nobody feels uncomfortable and suffocated. Let’s break these gender stereotypes and try looking at things without any pre-conceived notions. Help me pull those uncomfortable synthetic socks off and walk around without feeling ashamed or disgusted at myself.