I could say a bazillion amazing things about my big sister. But right now the one word that comes to mind is proud. I am so incredible proud of her for writing this and being willing to share such a personal thing with all of you. Here is her interview >>> "My sister is one of the photographers involved in The Flower Project. When her photo-shoot with Mel and Gabby went viral the number of women who took the time to tear Mel apart appalled me. I think women people in general really should be focusing more energy on building others up rather than tearing them down.
I am hoping to inspire women to not feel ashamed of themselves for something that has become a shameful hushed up topic in our society.
My story is fairly simple; I contracted an STI (Herpes… it’s delightful) from an ex- boyfriend (not a very good one obviously). I went to the doctor thinking I had inadvertently scratched myself. When he told me I had herpes the bottom dropped out of my stomach.
The first outbreak was the hardest. Every muscle in my body ached walking around hurt, lying down hurt, it felt like I was being stabbed repeatedly in my precious bits… and it was itchy. Which is a terrible combination. Since then it’s all gotten a lot more straightforward, I’ve experimented with both natural and pharmaceutical remedies finally finding one that works for me.
Occasionally having herpes really sucks. But for the most part it’s no different then getting cold sores, irritating but not that big of a deal. What bothers me the most is how our society has turned it into this dirty shameful ting that needs to be kept a secret. Either it defines you (as in the websites “living with herpes”) or you have to pretend it doesn’t exist, lying to people when you have an outbreak and just want to lie down.
But it doesn’t define you and we shouldn’t have to keep it a secret because it isn’t something to be ashamed about.
This project is beautiful. It highlights inner beauty as well as outer beauty and gives women a safe haven to share their worst fears and moments. I think that is healing."