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#280 - 02/18/01 01:35 AM Relationships
Nikkster Offline
Member

Registered: 08/14/00
Posts: 83
Loc: Philadelphia
I'm putting this one out to everyone. I wanna know what's on the minds of women and men. So who has it harder? Men or Women with Ich? Being a beautiful single woman, (who happens to have a skin condition [img]http://www.ichthyosis.com/ubb/smile.gif[/img] ), I find it kinda hard to meet guys. I think women overall have it tougher because of the media images and socialization that we haveta look a certain way and be a certain size. All around, you see these airbrushed, impossibley built, plastic women who serve as image role models to little girls all over. Growing up with that nonsense can be kinda hard. It's takin' me a long time for me to be comfortable with who I am and what I look. The older I get, I've learned that beauty is definately in the eye of the beholder.

That being said, it's still hard to put yourself out there to meet guys. Where the heck are the men hiding. My point is I think it's a tad harder for women with ichthyosis to meet guys. Of course..... that's only my opinion [img]http://www.ichthyosis.com/ubb/biggrin.gif[/img]

What do you think?

Nikkster

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#281 - 02/19/01 02:54 PM Re: Relationships
Anonymous
Unregistered


Nikkster,
We had this dicussion in the men's group a month or so back. Some of the men were sniveling that we had it harder until Les and I pointed out the same things you have, although they still haven't admitted it. I would still like to point out that we all have it hard in some ways, whether or not or ichthyosis is very noticable or not. I think those of us who can't "hide" our Ichthyosis sometimes have it harder in relationships because of the what people see at first. Then again, those of us who hide it have to keep up the charade and in the end when you find someone you have even more explaining to do as to why you have been hiding this from someone you may love. I definently think women have it harder because of the "super model" syndrome we talked about, but it is no easy job for a man with Ichthyosis to muster up the courage to ask a women out or even talk to a stranger when he knows they can see his skin condition. The first thing many people do is stare right at it, not your eyes or anything else. I know how women feel when they say that men always stare at their breasts and not there eyes, well, ok, that's not the same but you know what I am getting at. Bottom line is as we said before, if someone is even hesitant to except your ichthyosis then move on. You can't be in a relationship with someone you are not on equal ground with. What's inside of us, or anyone for that matter, is all that matters in the long run. If your skin bothers someone then move on and consider it their loss, we have our lives to live and can't be kept down by anyone who is that ignorant or shallow. I wrote a letter similar to this one in the men's section answering the same topic brought up by a man this time. I would like you to read it since I haven't had time to put any thought or time into this one due to the fact that I must leave for work. Thank you.
Keith.

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#282 - 02/20/01 05:00 PM Re: Relationships
Laura Phillips Offline


Member

Registered: 07/31/08
Posts: 12
Loc: Detroit, MI
I'm with you Nikk--I think it's much harder on women. Goes back to the way we, as a culture, are socialized to view beauty. "Beautiful" skin (the traditional definition, soft and supple, perfect in texture and coloration) is something that we've been taught to include in the definition of a beautiful woman. And women are expected to "show more skin" all the time--not just in formal dresses and other 'dress up' occasions, but everyday--women's fashion much more frequently than men's calls for short sleeves, sleeveless, bare midriff, short skirts (heck, any skirt at all is going to show more leg than pants). It's much easier for a man to camoflage his skin and stay "fashionable" than for a woman.

And how many "romantic" scenes feature the man stroking a woman's bare arm, or bare back?

Make up. Guys don't have to wear make up at all! Make up can become an asset in terms of camoflaging ichthyosis, but overall, makeup is MUCH harder to work with (and have a good result) when you have ichthyosis. There are styles of makeup that are "fashionable" now (especially around the eyes) that I just CAN'T DO because of my ichthyosis.

Women typically wear more jewelry. Hard to really "flaunt" great rings or bracelets, when you're trying to cover up your ichthyosis covered hands. Nevermind what your creams do to your jewelry (some soft gemstones and pearls I can't wear at all, as the AHAs will just destroy them...my diamonds I have to clean EVERY DAY because the cream residue that manages to get on them makes them hazy).

I put runs in my nylons because my scales snag them as I get drier and drier throughout the day (for this reason I wear tights alot in the winter...but there's only so much of the season you can wear tights!). Nevermind those hot, hot summer days when I REFUSE to take my nylons off because I'm trying to camoflage the scales on my legs.

Arrgghhh! I'll stop my rant now, though I could easily keep going [img]http://www.ichthyosis.com/ubb/smile.gif[/img]

And I'll apologize to the guys now--I'm not saying you have it easy, by any stretch. But you definitely have it easier in my mind than us girls.

Laura

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#283 - 02/20/01 05:09 PM Re: Relationships
Laura Phillips Offline


Member

Registered: 07/31/08
Posts: 12
Loc: Detroit, MI
Keith--

I hear what you're saying (and really liked your earlier post, I read it at the time you posted it). That's a great philosophy, and it's reassuring. However, I'm not sure it's entirely realistic or fair to say, "I look how I look (no matter how good or bad you might look that day) and it's the other person's loss if they don't accept me."

I've had a number of good friends and boyfriends who weren't entirely 'sure' of my skin condition when we first met...and it wasn't until we'd developed a little bit of a relationship with each other that we talked about it, and it really was no big deal. They were totally accepting. HOWEVER...it could have stopped us from initially meeting or talking, and then developing a friendship. Again, the way we are socialized, first impressions have a big impact on whom we choose to pursue for relationships. I don't think it's fair to say that if someone balks at your appearance the very first time they see you, on their very first impression, that you should just write them off as some kind of shallow person with issues, and that you're better off without them. Some very good people may initially balk, but then get over it, and go on to have very healthy, mutually fulfilling relationships with each other.

And I think this is maybe more what Nikk is getting at, especially in a dating context. It's getting past that first impression that's a real issue in dating (not just with ichthyosis, but with anything that doesn't fit your criteria of the perfect mate!) And I think women are more forgiving of men's physical appearance in terms of a first impression than men are of women.

Just my personal, however flawed, opinion [img]http://www.ichthyosis.com/ubb/smile.gif[/img]

Laura



[This message has been edited by Laura Phillips (edited February 20, 2001).]

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#284 - 02/22/01 02:02 PM Re: Relationships
Anonymous
Unregistered


Laura,
I don't think I ever said that if someone doesn't except your ichthyosis at first glance to forget them. I said if they have a problem with your ichthyosis then it is time to move on. Obviously they would have to already know you in a more intimate manner to have seen it ir talked about it. You did bring up a few points I never thought of though. Women can show more of their body and still hide it so to speak, then men. Men can't/don't wear tights, nylons or make-up. It's either pants or shorts for our bottom half, there is no hiding our legs other then socks, and they only go so high. As for women being more forgiving of a mans personal appearance at first glance, well that all depends on the individual no matter what sex they are. Don't get me wrong, I still think women have it harder.
Keith.

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#285 - 02/23/01 01:24 AM Re: Relationships
Nikkster Offline
Member

Registered: 08/14/00
Posts: 83
Loc: Philadelphia
Hello,

Both Keith and Laura brought up good points. BUT, I agree with Laura about women's fashions showing more skin and thus making it harder for women to hide/camaflouge their conditions. Skimpy t-shirts[and I do own a few [img]http://www.ichthyosis.com/ubb/smile.gif[/img] ] Sleeveless shirts, halter tops, short-shorts, low cut blouses, etc..... Heck yeah it's hard to cover your skin up as a woman. At a formal event or outing most styles have women in sleeveless,low cut attire, while men can wear a tux. Everything is covered but the hands. That is only one example.

I don't like the term "forgiving" in terms of how women may relate to men in terms of appearance. I would say that we are more understanding or accepting. Yup, I'm still believing that women have it harder. I'm not saying that men with ichthyosis don't have their issues, 'cuz I'm sure that they do. But I don't feel that they have the same social pressures that women confront everyday. That goes for women with and without skin problems.

On your local news stations how many older, heavier anchorman do you see compared to women? Very few I bet ya. The men can be gray, heavy and in their 5o's or 60's while the women are probably thin, no gray, 30's or early 40's at the oldest. And please don't give me Barbara Walters and Kokie Roberts as examples, because I think that they are exceptions to the rule.

Yeah, I know I just went on a tangent. But again, I think we women have more to deal with. That is just our lot in life [img]http://www.ichthyosis.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif[/img] And again, only my personal opinion.

Nikkster

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#286 - 02/23/01 05:38 PM Re: Relationships
Laura Phillips Offline


Member

Registered: 07/31/08
Posts: 12
Loc: Detroit, MI
This is fun, hearing people's more philosophical thoughts on life and ichthyosis (and Keith, I'm not surprised to hear that you and I probably think a lot more alike on this issue than might have first appeared).

At the risk of making another generalization [img]http://www.ichthyosis.com/ubb/wink.gif[/img] it's been my general experience that people with ichthyosis are highly intelligent, insightful people--maybe more so than the general population (this strikes a nerve with me right now, as I was recently corresponding with an attorney who was trying to prepare a case for someone with ichthyosis who'd suffered brain damage while in the hospital due to the hospital's negligence, and the defense was indicating that they had evidence that ichthyosis was associated with retardation and other reduced mental capacity, which we all know is total hogwash). Anyway, I really enjoy hearing people with ichthyosis 'workin the brain' over issues like this.

Thanks for bringing it up Nikk!

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#287 - 03/01/01 03:53 AM Re: Relationships
dslacker Offline
Member

Registered: 08/26/00
Posts: 61
Loc: Copenhagen - Denmark - Europe
Since Im the one who started the topic in the "mens" discussion, I really have to join in here [img]http://www.ichthyosis.com/ubb/smile.gif[/img] Maybee that will also clarify some things...
As I stated there I'm a 33 years old male who has EHK, and I really dont have much problems with finding female friends, but I have started to get a little annoyed by the fact that wast the majority of them only wants socalled platonic friendship...
After seing some of the replies and thinking some more about it, I came to think that it maybe could have something to do with basic biology:
Females look for mates who would be "the perfect parent" (good offspring, safety, security, etc) and males want to "spread their genes".
And YES, I know this is a gross simplification, but it does explain something since, in my oppinion, most Ich. people really dont fit much in the female wishlist...
Where as males might not be quite as "picky"...

hope This doesnt offend to much, and that this could further the discussion [img]http://www.ichthyosis.com/ubb/smile.gif[/img]


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| The Danish Slacker |
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| dslacker@trustme.dk |
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| "Have you got the | | will to be weird" |
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_________________________
The Danish Slacker
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dslacker@trustme.dk
"Have you got the will to be weird"
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#288 - 03/01/01 04:49 AM Re: Relationships
Blue Offline
Member

Registered: 10/16/00
Posts: 10
Loc: Kankakee, Il
Hi All,

First of all, I have x-linked, and have a Master's Degree and am currently working on my second one. So, I don't think that mental retardation goes along with ichthyosis.

Secondly, as a male with multiple birth defects, feel as though my defects have not played a part in my social relationships. However, this may be denial on my part.

I enjoy the discusion!

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#289 - 03/02/01 04:24 PM Re: Relationships
Laura Phillips Offline


Member

Registered: 07/31/08
Posts: 12
Loc: Detroit, MI
Now I'm going to start to get off topic (but still waxing philosophical).

You made me think Blue---I think my skin has played a role in *some* of my social relationships. BUT, especially as I get older, I think this has been a GOOD experience for me. How your ichthyosis (or other birth defects) affect your life is a very complicated discussion. But at the end of it, I feel like I've been blessed to lead a pretty charmed life, I like who I am, what I've done and what I'm going to do. And ichthyosis is inextricably intertwined with that. I'm not sure that given the opportunity I would choose to live my life without ichthyosis. It undoubtedly would have ended up being a different life...and I kinda like how this one is playing out.

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