Rosacea & Skin Positivity Campaigner
“Once you understand that everybody is unique and imperfect, in a wonderfully perfect way, you can truly be positive about the way that you look.” Talonted Lex talks about her journey with rosacea and skin positivity.
Why is it so important to feel positive within your skin?
“Rosacea is chronic, so accepting how my skin looks and finding the positive in something I can’t change, is better than living my whole life being miserable about the way that I look.”
What sparked your skin positivity journey?
“For a while I was ‘a rosacea blogger’, which I don’t really view myself as anymore. A lot of the stuff I talk about can be applied to anyone with skin conditions, especially when I talk about skin positivity, stress and psychological impact; I think that transcends rosacea.”
How are you using your voice to help people with self-acceptance?
“I see my role as being two-pronged. Firstly, to provide advice and connect people under the broad umbrella of skin positivity. Whether we’re talking about vitiligo, rosacea, scars, my underlying message is to be okay in your skin.
“Secondly, my aim is to bring awareness to those who don’t suffer with a skin condition, so they might learn and think twice about how they respond to people who do have one.”
What advice do you have for people struggling to feel comfortable with their skin?
“I’ve developed a bit of a catch phrase: ‘Your skin does not define you; in fact, it’s the least interesting thing about you.’
But it’s hard to remember that when it affects going to work, going on a date. I’ve heard from people who have completely retreated from everyday life because they can’t deal with how people react to them. Skin conditions and visible differences can be incredibly isolating, so, finding an online community of people who look and feel as I do has been transformative for me. I encourage anyone who feels lost or lonely in their condition to seek out the online spaces created by those who understand.”
How did you find out you had rosacea?
“After doing sports at school my friends would joke about how red I went; when I started drinking in my late teens, I would often go red, and I just thought that was ‘how my skin went’.
“It got worse and worse to the point that my skin actually went purple. It was very sensitive, burning, itchy, bumpy, and dry, but oily at the same time. The university GP diagnosed it almost straight away; I had never heard of it.
“Although rosacea may be considered a superficial condition by those who don’t understand it, we cannot separate the psychological impact of skin conditions from the physical conditions. It was a scary thing to be told my issue was chronic and thinking that my face would always be that way.”
What is the most important thing for you to achieve in your campaigning?
“I want to be the resource that I needed when I was diagnosed at 21, when I felt so lost. Every single thing I put on the internet has been to help that 21-year old version of me.
“The skin positivity message is crucial: all skin is good skin. We should all be a little bit kinder to people regardless of how they look and focusing less on people’s appearance.
“We need to move into a space where we have a full range of all forms of beauty. It’s so important to me to spread the message that there is more than one way to be beautiful and more than one way to live your life.”
talontedlex.co.uk | Instagram: @talontedlex
Main image of Lex from the series Epidermis by Sophie Harris-Taylor | Instagram: @sophieharristaylor, Twitter: @sharristaylor