In a new essay for Glamour magazine, LeAnn Rimes says she's "tired of hiding" her psoriasis diagnosis. It's been 16 years since Rimes's last flare-up of the skin disorder, but the stress of this year has caused her psoriasis to come back with a vengeance, and this time, Rimes isn't trying to cover it up. In fact, she posed nude for her Glamour essay in an effort to normalize psoriasis and other skin conditions.
In her essay, Rimes says she was only 2 years old when she was first diagnosed with the skin ailment, which is thought to be the result of an immune system issue and can flare up when confronted with stress, cold, and/or other infections.
"By the time I was 6, about 80% of my body was covered in painful red spots—everything but my hands, feet, and face," Rimes writes.
"These weren’t the days when there were commercials about psoriasis on TV or open discussions about skin conditions. No one was talking about this....In the world we lived in, our 'flaws' were not invited to the forefront."
After attempting to treat it to no avail, Rimes resorted to instead hiding it with full-coverage clothing, despite the heat and despite needing to be in the public eye to further her singing career. "For so much of my life, I felt like I had to hide," she writes.
Rimes eventually opened up about struggling with psoriasis, but did so during the times when her skin was clear, thanks to a treatment that finally worked to heal her skin. "I think people thought I was making it up because they’ve never seen me with a flare-up," she says. "This time is different."
"When you’re hiding your physical body, there’s so much that rolls over into your emotional and spiritual mental health," Rimes continues. "You feel like you’re holding yourself back...We’re at a moment in time right now when we’re all being stripped of everything we thought we needed—and now we can see how worthy and good enough we are without all of the bullshit. We’re worthy without the makeup and the artifice. We’re worthy of love without having to work for it." She adds, "And that’s why I’m tired of hiding."
The photos Rimes decided to include in her piece show the truth of her current flare up, a truth it took her decades to finally face and let others see.
"You know when you say something you’ve been holding in for so long, and it’s such a sigh of relief? That’s what these photos are to me," she says, noting that the images are not as hard to look at as she originally thought they would be. "Being in our own bodies, we judges ourselves so harshly," Rimes writes. "But when I look at these photos, I see so much more than my skin."
Though she doesn't know if this "coming clean" moment will change her thought process regarding wearing shorts to the grocery store during a flare up, "what I do know is that it’s amazing how small we can keep ourselves," Rimes says. "When you finally allow yourself to step outside of what you’ve been caging in, the whole world opens up. There’s freedom in even just putting one foot outside the door."
To help those who may be struggling with similar issues, both physical and mental/emotional, Rimes is releasing a new meditative chant album on November 20th called The Human and the Holy that will help those in need recenter, reevaluate, and feel good in their own skin (no matter what it may look like).