LeAnn Rimes is baring all — in more ways than one. In an essay for Glamour, the singer not only opened up about the psoriasis she’s been diagnosed with since she was 2 years old, but she also literally stripped down to reveal the immune-related skin condition she normally kept hidden underneath her clothes.
“Maybe it’s the fact that this year has really put things into perspective, but I now feel like I’m at a point in my life where I just want to break out of that cage,” she writes, later adding, “I’m tired of hiding.”
Rimes spent many years treating her psoriasis, from steroid creams and medications to even wrapping herself in coal tar with Saran Wrap. “And when I was in public, I did I everything I could to hide it,” she writes, adding that she’d often wear two pairs of pantyhose or jeans, even in scorching weather. “Underneath my shirt, my whole stomach would be covered in thick scales that would hurt and bleed,” she continues. “For so much of my life, I felt like I had to hide.”
While she did find an effective treatment in her 20s, she went off the medication about two-and-a-half years ago — and “all hell broke loose in the world.”
“Suddenly I went from doing what I love, and being surrounded by people, to just hanging around the house in sweats. Stress is a common trigger for psoriasis, and with so much uncertainty happening, my flare-ups came right back,” she writes.
But now, in honor of World Psoriasis Day (Oct. 29), Rimes is officially done hiding.
Photographed by Sara Hertel, Rimes posed for a nude shoot in an effort to “finally … be 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,” Rimes writes.
A disease that impacts more than 125 million people, psoriasis is an immune-mediated disease that causes inflammation in the body. Some report that the plaques can itch, burn, and even sting. And psoriasis affects more than one’s physical health; it can affect your emotional health, your relationships, and how you handle stress, according to the National Psoriasis Foundation.
“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,” Rimes writes. “We’re worthy without the makeup and the artifice. We’re worthy of love without having to work for it.”
On Instagram, Hertel praised Rimes, writing that she “admire[s] the hell out of] the singer for being so brave and vulnerable.
“Witnessing the raw preciousness of someone embracing themselves in new and honest ways is empowering and beautiful,” Hertel writes. “May we all love each other into such brave vulnerability. Thank you my friend […] For your trust and your guts!”
Rimes’ essay — and Hertel’s photos — were met with overwhelming support — or, as Rimes put it, an “overwhelming outpouring of love.”
“Know that you’re not alone,” Rimes says in her Instagram Story. “That was my main reason for wanting to share something so vulnerable, because so many people are struggling, and do struggle with psoriasis among so many other things. Just know that you are loved and you are worthy, as I tell myself the same thing over and over again.”