Aspiring model with psoriasis proudly shows off her skin on Instagram
Celia Martinez, 27, from Guadix, Spain, has had a hard time finding employment. She was diagnosed with psoriasis at the age of 16, when she started to see small red marks appear on her stomach. Since then, the sores have spread to affect up to 90 percent of her body. This isn't just a painful, frustrating condition to live with, but one that has even seen her rejected from jobs in the past.
She may have felt self-conscious in the past, but now she proudly displays herself on Instagram, where she has over 10,000 followers.
However, her success on the social media platform doesn't always translate into work. Instagram has become integral to the careers of many models, yet casting agents rarely book Martinez for shoots and sometimes ask if they can edit out her sores in their photos.
She is often told that she doesn't have the "requirements" of "perfect skin", and that isn't the end of the unfair criticism she has received. She frequently has to deal with people asking her whether she is contagious or not, but she hasn't let these rude remarks stop her.
"When I'm in the street and people look at me badly, when they said horrible things, in that moment I said, "I'm going to be on top of this, I'm not going to let anyone humiliate me, or let anyone speak badly about me," she explained. "I think that this has made me accept it even more and to cope with it better."
Celia admitted it was initially difficult to accept her skin condition, saying she felt like "a freak", describing the sensation of burning oil falling on her skin. The marks start to grow during flare-ups, itching and eventually bleeding as the skin dries up. Psoriasis is not understood completely yet, but apparently, various things can trigger outbreaks, such as the weather, stress and certain foods.
Celia recently suffered from an outbreak that lasts for a full year, forcing her to leave her job as a mechanic. "I suffered from a lot of fevers, a lot of pain and I felt awful," she said. "I also had problems with my nerves, anxiety, and everything came all at me at once. It was the worst it's ever been for me."
Her boyfriend, Jose, praised the way she handles things, describing how that she "just gets on with it," even though each sore can be incredibly painful for her. Martinez is hoping that her career as a model and social media personality will show others with similar conditions that they are still beautiful:
"In the future, I hope and I believe that I'll finally get the right treatment for me. Of course, it's a disease that lasts forever, but if some of the symptoms that really make me feel bad can be reduced a bit, it will allow me to fully live the normal life that I want.
"It's gotten to a point where I really don't care. It irritates me and it hurts but physically it's not something that bothers me at all. When my doctor said that this would be for life, I made a promise with myself that I would love myself more than ever."
Hopefully, Celia's quest can help others accept themselves for who they are, and her dedication is rewarded with a prosperous modelling career.