LeAnn Rimes has opened up about her psoriasis before — a lifelong struggle for her since she was diagnosed at two years old — but showing the full extent of her experience with the longterm chronic illness (thought to be connected to immune system issues) with anyone other than her closest family members was still a challenge.
But this year, in time for World Psoriasis Day, Rimes decided to really bare it all. First in a powerful, touching essay for Glamour and a nude shoot (bathed in sunlight and absolutely stunning) that shares a glimpse at her body’s story — psoriasis and all.
On Instagram, Rimes shared the photo, adding that her recent work in music and podcasting has been dedicated to “excavating pieces that I’ve been hiding and bringing them to the light.” She adds in hery essathat choosing to share an intimate, up-close look during a flare-up can help show the reality of living with a chronic disease.
“When I first revealed [my psoriasis], it was a big deal for me to come out and say, ‘I deal with this.’ But so many people responded, ‘Oh my God, your skin is so clear!’ Because, yeah, I was speaking about it only when my skin was clear,” Rimes writes. “I think people thought I was making it up because they’ve never seen me with a flare-up. This time is different. Even though I’ve opened up, I’ve still kept hidden. And when you’re hiding your physical body, there’s so much that rolls over into your emotional and spiritual mental health. You feel like you’re holding yourself back—like you’ve been caged in.”
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So much of my journey, both personally and within my creations, my new chant record and podcast coming out soon, has been excavating pieces that I’ve been hiding and bringing them to the light. It’s been and still is a journey of allowing them out and welcoming and reintegrating those fragments back into wholeness. Music has been my gift, and why I’m here. But I want to give a voice to these other pieces of me. And I want to give a voice to what so many other people are going through. This is finally my time to be unabashedly honest about what psoriasis is and what it looks like. 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. I needed this. My whole body—my mind, my spirit—needed this desperately. With today being World Psoriasis Day, I thought this would be the perfect time to share my story with @glamourmag, head to the link in my bio/ stories to read my full essay 💕 #worldpsoriasisday #psoriasis #psoriasisawareness #glamourmag #whatilivewith
Rimes touches on the mental and spiritual toll (along with the physical) struggles that comes with having a chronic illness you feel compelled to hide: “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. I needed this. My whole body—my mind, my spirit—needed this desperately. I honestly thought these photos were going to be challenging to look at. It’s one thing to see yourself and judge yourself in the mirror; I thought it would be even harder in a photo, which is why in the past I never let people take pictures of me during flare-ups. Being in our own bodies, we judges ourselves so harshly. But when I look at these photos, I see so much more than my skin.”
Ultimately, Rimes knows that these photos and this essay may not be a life-changing, pivotal moment in her journey to understanding and loving her body — but she does see it as an opportunity to step into the light for now:
“Will these photos change the way I live? Will I wear shorts out to the grocery store? I honestly don’t know. But what I do know is that it’s amazing how small we can keep ourselves. 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,” Rimes writes. “I hope anyone who also kept themselves small has the courage to step outside of that cage. When we allow ourselves not to be held in, our lives come back to us.”
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