I was extremely hesitant of speaking to the media. I don't want sensationalism or pity. I have seen the draft of the New Idea story and I am very pleased. While I didn't write it, my words have been used as quotes and I've been portrayed well. It's a lovely story. I don't believe I've compromised my integrity or lost my dignity.
Working my own story on DiVine, Ramp Up, No Limits and this blog allows me to reach a discerning and somewhat converted audience. However, I believe by me being courageous enough to present myself to mainstream media may help me change perceptions about disabilities and chronic illnesses in an audience who I haven't yet reached. An audience who may need an insight into what it's like living with looking so different.
My ichthyosis creates such polarising reactions - from pity, criticism and discomfort, to mouth-gaping horror - that sometimes using my looks when telling my story is the only way to create awareness and acceptance. I am strong, intelligent, articulate and confident, and I need to show this alongside a picture.
I have had some other media outlets approach me and I am considering their invites after receiving valuable advice from respected bloggers, PR companies and disability advocates.
While I was worried about my story being in the hands of the mainstream media, I am more worried about the reaction I may receive from those who know me, particularly in the disability community. I hope you respect my decision to share my story with New Idea and possibly other media outlets. This may be the launching pad for my Changing Faces dream, and even a bigger publishing opportunity. And it may make the ignorant think twice and give hope to others with ichthyosis.
Go out and get yourself a copy of New Idea magazine. I can autograph your copy ;)