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The Brave Face

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Now, at 25, my symptoms have subsided a bit. I’m off chemo, and I take only small doses of prednisone. I still need four pills a day to keep the condition in check, but that’s a miracle compared to the 14 or so I needed just a few years ago. Lupus, along with the pills I take to manage it, has drastically affected my looks and my feelings about beauty in general. Sure, its effects made me self-conscious, but ultimately I realized that I don’t have to feel that way. My looks are something I can actively affect, enhance, and change — not simply to fit in, but to help people notice me for me and not my physical differences. To me, taking control of my looks — owning them — gives me confidence and comfort.

It has been a long journey to get to this point, but I feel lucky. And sometimes, when I put on the makeup I made myself and a great pair of sunglasses, I agree with my boyfriend: I look beautiful.


Originally published on: April 17, 2008
 

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