A few months ago I was flown to Sydney to do an interview with my friend Olivia Molly Rogers. Olivia has acne, and we have often spoken about the similar well meaning messages we get from strangers, offering us “cures” for our skin conditions.
I loved doing this interview – you can listen on your podcast app, or read the transcript below.
Skin Stories was made by TBH Skincare.
Olivia: On today’s episode of Skin Stories, we have the incredible Carly Findlay joining us. Carly is an inspiration in the world of beauty, fashion, and inclusivity. As a writer, speaker, and appearance activist, she fearlessly challenges societal norms and empowers individuals with visible differences to embrace their unique beauty. Carly’s story is one of resilience and self-discovery. Living with a rare skin condition called ichthyosis, she has faced numerous physical and emotional challenges throughout her life, yet she has risen above adversity, defying stereotypes, and proving that true beauty lies within each individual. Through her advocacy work, Carly has been a driving force in promoting inclusivity and breaking down barriers for people with visible differences.
She has spoken at international conferences, written extensively on disability and appearance diversity, and continues to be a powerful voice for change. In today’s interview, we have the privilege of delving deeper into Carly’s personal journey. She will share her experiences with living with ichthyosis, discuss the impact it has had on her self-esteem and relationships, and shed light on the importance of creating a more accepting and inclusive society. Carly also offers some incredibly valuable insights and tips on skincare, self-care and cultivating self-confidence, which are relevant for anyone seeking a healthier relationship with their skin.
Olivia: Hey, Carly, what a pleasure it is to have you on Skin Stories with tbh Skincare today. I’m really excited to chat to you. Now I would love to know – who is Carly summed up in three words?
Carly: It’s hard to choose. It is colourful, creative, confident.
Olivia: I love that they all start with a C, and so does Carly. Was that intentional?
Carly: No, totally not prepared.
Olivia: That was so good. I love that. And I definitely agree with those three words. Now tell us a little bit about yourself. What was your childhood like and how was your high school experience, and what did you think that you wanted to be when you grew up?
Carly: I had a mix of good and bad in my childhood. I am an only child, and so I’m very close to my parents, and I had a really nurturing upbringing and was encouraged to read and write, especially, and I really enjoyed making things. But it was also quite difficult because I have a skin condition called ichthyosis, and it meant that both my skin was painful and itchy and difficult a lot of the time, and I was in hospital a lot. But also, the social stuff from children particularly, was really hard, like the exclusion and the bullying and the name calling and questions.
One thing that happened when I was younger was that because I was in hospital so much as an inpatient and an outpatient, I had a lot of time to read and write. I had a lot of time to create, to take my mind off things. Even when I was at home and my mum was bathing me or doing my hair, so combing the scale out of my hair every night, she would work with me to tell stories, to make up stories, and write verbally. So that was kind of my entry into being a writer. And I always wanted to be a writer and now I am.
Olivia: That’s awesome.
Olivia: I don’t think it’s very common for people to know from such a young age what they want to be and then to actually go and do that.
Carly: Yeah, I actually wanted to be, for a little period of time, I wanted to be a dermatologist. And I thought that it would be great me being a dermatologist, as I had a skin condition and would be able to relate to other people. And back in the ’80s, a man who was a very good dermatologist and a very kind man, but also a privileged white man who didn’t have a skin condition, said to me, “you’ll be mistaken for the patient too often”. And he really put me off. And I guess for me it was when I realised I don’t really like maths and science. That shaped more of my career path. But I think sometimes I would like to do a little bit more in the dermatology field, as in not be a doctor, but maybe like a patient liaison or something like that. And I do actually lecture in genetics now, and I’m not even a doctor, but I lecture at Melbourne Uni sometimes. As a Lecturer talking about genetics and media representation.
Olivia: That’s so cool.
Carly: Yeah, I talk to doctors-to-be at Uni.
Olivia: I feel like I would have had a much more positive experience with the dermatologist growing up, if you had been my dermatologist versus the white men that were my dermatologist.
Carly: It’s funny because I think we’ve talked about this before, but sometimes when you go to a hospital or a clinic or whatever, when you are struggling with sore skin or skin that creates a facial difference, it can be really hard to see someone without a facial difference. And they’re often with such beauty privilege – like, dermatology sort of goes hand in hand with cosmetic dermatology, not just medical dermatology. Often the people that are treating you are very beautiful and I do find that tricky.
Olivia: It’s funny you say that, though, because I don’t think I’ve ever had a beautiful dermatologist. They were all just like old men.
Carly: Oh really?
Carly: I don’t think I’ve ever seen a dermatologist with a visible skin condition. Not that they need to disclose, but I think that would be a relief to see one and there would be a sense of empathy there. I’ve seen a lot of dermatologists, and to never encounter one with a visible skin condition, it’s quite interesting. But a lot of the time when I do see a dermatologist, especially if they’re one in training, like a junior doctor, I’m the first person like this that they’ve seen. It’s kind of like they’ve hit the jackpot with finding something that they’ve learnt about. I’m treated like a specimen. I went in for my ear cleaning a few months ago and I haven’t had it for a while and it was done very quickly, which is great because often I have to wait for a very long time in the outpatients, I go to public hospitals and there was a senior doctor in there that said, “oh, I know what condition you have” and I don’t know whether he was trying to prove his medical knowledge. But then when I was on the bed and I was having the suction syringe stuck in my ear so I couldn’t go anywhere, I couldn’t really see anything, say or do anything other than wait and speak, the senior doctor said, “oh, I’m going to bring in a student doctor, is that okay?” Generally it’s fine. I don’t mind seeing student doctors. If I’m really unwell and I’m exhausted, I probably would say, no, I’m just here for what I’m here for. The doctor came in and then there was this quiz for him and so the senior doctor was quizzing the junior doctor, “what kind of condition? How does it present?” And I’m like, oh, my God. Like a specimen. Then he didn’t even ask my name or didn’t even say goodbye. And I just thought, you know what, it is important to learn about new conditions and rare conditions, but also it is really important to make the patient feel welcome and human and just basic, bedside manner, as I was on the bed having my ears cleaned out. Yeah, it was really weird.
Olivia: Some people just have no idea, do they? Or don’t seem to care about how you feel about the way that they act.
Carly: Yeah, I’ve been to conferences when I was a kid, mum and I, and my mum and dad and I were often dragged to these medical conferences. They were pitched as, we’ll find a cure one day. There’s no cure for this condition, and I’m okay with that. I’d take a cure for the pain, but not for the appearance. I definitely want a cure for other people’s discrimination. We would go to these conferences at the hospital and it would be all day, and it’s either a medical assessment or an international conference where doctors would see people with rare conditions, and some of the doctors wouldn’t speak. I’d be sitting there in a sheet and one sock, because they’d always have to look at a foot. So I’d have one sock on and one sock off and my underwear. And I was freezing because my body doesn’t regulate its temperature, and it’d just like I was a specimen. When I was a kid, when I was really little, I used to charge the doctors money for a look, which I know is so unethical, but you can get away with it as a kid.
I said to Mum, I just couldn’t do it, when I entered puberty. I just felt like my body should have been my own then. I didn’t want other people to look at it.
Olivia: I think that leads really well into the next question. So, today we’re here to talk specifically about skin. And we all know that our skin is intrinsically linked to our overall well-being and our feelings of self-worth. I know your skin is a big part of your story, as someone living with ichthyosis. Can you tell us a bit more about this condition and the relationship that you have had with your skin over the years?
Carly: Yeah, so I was born with ichthyosis. The type I was diagnosed with at birth was ichthyosiform erythroderma, which means ‘scaly red skin’ in Latin. And ‘ichthy’ is ‘fish’, and ‘erythro’ is, ‘inflamed red, damaged’ skin. And obviously, 40+ years ago, no one knew about it a lot.
Olivia: Can we just pause there for a second? I think everyone is always blown away when you say how old you are.
Carly: Yes. Genetic skin condition that keeps me looking young. Yeah. I’m 41 and I probably look about 25. It’s great. Just by the by, a few years ago, my Year 12 class at high school had a reunion. I think it was actually a 19-year reunion. Don’t know why. Anyway. And they added me to this group chat and I was teased at school a lot, excluded. And they added me and everyone else to the group chat. And I would say stuff and it was just like being at high school, it was just like being ignored and whatever. And I found a photo of me in Year 11 and I looked exactly the same as I did then, 19 years later. And so, I put it in a pic collage side by side, and I said, oh, I just found this photo of me 19 years ago. I look pretty much the same. Would love to see what you look like. I know that’s quite appearance shaming on my part, but you know what.
Olivia: Fair enough.
Carly: I get the last laugh here when the thing that they tease me about is the thing that keeps me looking really young.
Olivia: Yep, really youthful.
Carly: Yeah, they didn’t know much about ichthyosis at that age, in that time. And I’ve met a lot of people who are older than me who have struggled even more with the not knowing and the way they were treated as a specimen, and all of that. I had some genetic testing when I was 10, and my mum and dad had it as well, to see they carried the recessive gene, the both of them. It’s interesting because my mum and dad, I would think their gene pools are so far apart. My mum is a coloured South African, that’s her term. So she’s a black woman and my dad is a white Englishman. And so, for them to meet and have this recessive gene for this really rare condition. It’s quite astounding. And so we had this genetic test done, and they found out that I had a different type of Ichthyosis called Netherton syndrome. There’s a lot of components of that. So I can’t regulate my body temperature. I don’t have eyebrows or many eyebrows or eyelashes. I’ve got no body hair. This hair on my head is quite a lot for me. The hair is really prone to breaking off. Lots of people with ichthyosis have baldness, either full baldness or patches and stuff, and I definitely do. It also affects my ears in that it gets skin build up. It affects my eyes. I get light sensitivity, and so on overcast days particularly, I can’t keep my eyes open without sunglasses. They get very dry because there’s no lubrication in the lower lids, because the lower lids aren’t elastic enough. I don’t know when it will be – they’ve been talking about this for the last 20 years, that I would have to have an operation one day on my eyes to make the lids more elastic, to hold the tears in. And I went to the eye specialist recently, and they said it’s probably nearing time. So I have to use eye drops and gels and stuff to help get the corneal abrasions under control. I think people think that when you have a skin condition it’s just a small patch of eczema or dermatitis or whatever, but it’s so much more.
During COVID time – and we are still in COVID time – I acknowledge that I’m susceptible to infections and was more susceptible to COVID than other people. So for me to get my vaccine in the 1B category, which was for people with chronic illnesses, it was so much paperwork to jump through, and my husband could just walk in and say “I’m a carer” and get them. But I had to provide reams of documentation. Even for things like during lockdown for essential services, I would have to provide a lot of documentation. Each time, each lockdown, I’d have to get a new letter to say I needed a cleaner – because that was a medical service, and cleaners were banned for non-medical reasons or non-essential reasons.
There’s a lot of stuff that people don’t realise, and I think that can be really tricky. Like people just assume either I’m sunburnt and it’s not that bad, or it’ll go away, and we know what sunburn leads to, it leads to melanoma. And then there’s that kind of moral panic that people attach with that, like “oh, you’ve been so silly in the sun”. Then when I tell them that I haven’t, they’re like, “oh, what a relief”. Then there is the assumption that either I’m always in pain or not in pain, either. So it’s really tricky. I think I identify as disabled and one of the things I find is when people have a less visible disability, they often feel like they’re not heard and I get that. But also for me, I’ve got no choice but to disclose when I walk in the room or when I’m in the street. And so employers, whoever just judges me and other people can pass.
Hey, guys. Founder Rach here. It’s time for a quick break in this episode because I want to give a shout out to tbh skincare’s incredible mental health partner, ReachOut Australia. ReachOut Australia have amazing online resources. They cover everything from how to deal with acne or confidence problems through to sexuality and other challenges that young Australians face. So, if you’re not sure where to turn to, definitely go and check out reachoutaustralia.com. They’ve got some really amazing online forums there as well where you can connect with other people who might be going through something similar to you. As part of celebrating the amazing work that Reach Out Australia does, we are going to be donating a dollar from every single order in September on tbhskincare.com to this incredible organisation.
Okay, it’s time to get back to today’s episode.
Carly: So my relationship with my skin when I was younger was that I just wanted to be like everyone else. I didn’t want to have this condition. I just wanted to fit in. When I was really young, when I was probably 9 or 10, I encountered such bullying and exclusion at school. Like, people didn’t want to touch me, didn’t want to sit next to me, calling me names. I was suicidal, and I don’t think any 9 year old should be suicidal. It was pretty bad. I don’t remember much of it. It’s funny you put it out of your mind, but my mum and dad took me to a psychiatrist, and I don’t remember any of that. But then I started to read magazines and stuff and just saw like I just wasn’t represented. It was all how to clear your face of acne, how to get rid of dandruff so that you’ll get a boyfriend. It’s all linked to your body appearance; is all linked to how much attention you received from boys in those magazines – or it was then.
So I didn’t see anyone like me. The first time I saw anyone with ichthyosis was at one of those conferences. I met this woman who, lovely woman, but she took a lot of different medications to help her be less red. Her skin looked very good, very not-ichthyosis-like, I guess. Not that there’s a measurement of good or bad with this, but it looked better than mine did. She told me and my mom that she was taking all these drugs, but she had so many side effects. The drugs made her liver and heart, and all of that, made those organs damaged. And so the other thing was that she was so in search of a cure, and each to their own. But I remember saying to Mum, “I don’t think she’s a role model for me, because she’s not accepting of her own skin”. I know that’s incredibly judgmental of me to say now, but also I wanted someone who was okay in their own skin and showing that you don’t have to take a heap of drugs and have the opportunity cost of being unwell, just to look less red.
Olivia: Yeah, isn’t it crazy? I think that that’s such an important point and a metaphor for so many other things that people, and I would say predominantly women, and what we put our bodies through to look a certain way at the risk of being really unhealthy – and probably often very unhappy as well, just so that you look as you think you should.
Carly: Yeah. I think it was when I started working in the end of Year 12, I started working at Kmart, and then I went to Uni the following year and I was meeting other people and making real friends. That was a real turning point for me and learning how to answer people’s questions about if I’ve been sunburned or why do I look like this, in a professional way, that really helped me. I’ve got friends from Kmart, friends from Uni to this day, and it was just such a turning point.
The other thing that happened when I was a kid, though, and it really shaped the way I saw myself, is I grew up in a very small town in the country near Aubrey, and there was a lot of religious people, it was a very religious, very white town. And my mum was probably the only black person in that town until I was about 10. There was a lot of racism, there was a lot of misinformation and moral righteousness placed on an effect. So people would say that my parents had sinned because they’re black and white, and so that is why I ended up with ichthyosis. Like, you can’t get a genetic condition. I know your face. You can’t get a genetic condition like this. It’s genetic, it’s just how it is. And then they’d say “your parents drink alcohol and that’s why”. I remember my mum telling me that they had this almost like an uninvited guest kind of thing. A priest came to their home and said that they’d sinned, and that’s why I’m like this. And Mum certainly told him where to go.
Olivia: But they would say this to you as well?
Carly: Yeah. There were other religious people, would kind of whisper, “your mum’s black and your dad’s white, and that’s why you’re like this”. I know I can see that, but also that kind of judgment, and it was purely based on religion. And so Mum would often send me to Sunday school to make friends, really. And then I remember coming home and saying, “they said if I was born in Jesus’ day, I’d be a leper”. She took me out immediately. I get people now, not so much now, but people praying for me until a few years ago, pretty much until I did Yukana Stat, which I talked a lot about prayers.
Yeah. It popped up on my Facebook message memories the other day that someone followed me off the tram and tapped me on the shoulder, like, walked – followed me, walked into a shop, tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Jesus loves you”. So, there’s a lot of that. I think things really changed when I became independent and independent in that, when I moved away, but also when I became old enough to manage my bath and shower and hair stuff myself as well, because I could know what I needed and communicate what I needed. I often tell new parents of kids with ichthyosis that when their child can speak, they’ll be able to tell you – it’ll get easier because they can tell you how it feels.
Olivia: Now, you have already touched on this a bit, but could you share some of the challenges that you faced when it came to seeking diagnosis, treatment and understanding your skin condition?
Carly: Yeah, like I said, I was diagnosed straight away, but it is a very rare condition and there’s a lot of types of ichthyosis. There’s like, 25 – and mine’s on the severe end, and so that’s quite rare as well. There are people with ichthyosis that have it really mild and there’s people like me on the really severe end, and so it’s getting the right treatment for the right condition. I have a friend who’s got another type and we did a blog post a few years ago about comparing just how different it is. I will have a shower twice a day and she limits her water use because it hurts her. She has really long hair. I have barely any hair, so there’s that.
But also there’s the constant search for a cure. I feel like my parents and my doctors were doing the best they could, and what they thought it was. But when you’re constantly told that you need to be fixed and in search of a cure, you’re devalued. Mum and dad would take me to places like Chinese herbalists. They have this stuff called Percy’s Powder, which is stuff we bought from this guy on the side of the road. It was like mud, like drinking mud. Mum works in a customer service role in the bank and people would come in and offer her things like pyramid scheme kind of noni juice and mango stain, and all these different things to try. So it was this constant kind of trial and error. It’s funny because I do get a lot of companies say, “hey, do you want to try this product?” And I’ll be like, I’m fine with the paraffin I’ve been using for the last 37 years, or whatever. So I just use liquid paraffin, soft white paraffin mix. And before that, I used sorbolene. I found what works for me. So it is about that. But also, people feel like they’re experts when they see me, and of course I’ve tried something that they’ve suggested. Of course I know my condition so well that I’m trying better than anyone. But also there’s the assumption that I want to be cured. And as I said, I don’t want to be cured for my appearance. I’m happy with this now. I think the turning point was when I realised it takes a lot less energy to love yourself than to hate yourself.
Olivia: I love that. It’s funny, it’s been a consistent message across the different skin conditions that we’ve been talking about, but the same one is that you can’t hate away whatever you’ve got. It’s not going to change by being extra mean to yourself.
Carly: Absolutely. I think my parents have always been real matter of fact, very get on with it, stoic. And this is it. This is how it is. It’s genetic. It’s not related to anything else. I often say to new parents, don’t blame yourself. Nothing could have changed. It just is. I think my parents get on with the attitude. They courted in apartheid time in South Africa, and they had to move to Australia because they couldn’t get married. So they already had that kind of racist background for the reason that they came to Australia in the past, and then they had me, and in the same year they moved countries and just had to get on with it.
Olivia: Your mum’s a very impressive woman.
Carly: She is. She’s very impressive. She’s a very big supporter of my work. My parents are very proud, and also of your work as well. She’s recommended your book a few times.
Olivia: Oh, that’s so nice. She’s loyal.
Carly: Yeah, once she befriends my writer friends she becomes an advocate of their books.
Olivia: Oh that’s so nice. I love that.
Carly: Yeah, she’s really great. And she’s never expected me to educate at all times. I find some parents often think it’s their duty to educate. We don’t owe anyone a medical history. We don’t owe anyone a reason for the way we look the way we do. They’re a stranger. And she’s always told me that I don’t have to tell people and I can tell people to F* off if I wanted to.
Olivia: Yeah, good. I love that.
Now, again, we have touched on this a little bit, but did your skin condition affect your self esteem or body image and how did you cope with negative feelings or societal pressures?
Carly: Yeah, absolutely. When you don’t see yourself in a magazine, when there’s headlines around how disgusting dandruff or oily or dry skin is, then it does. If I see an ad or a TV show that talks about skin conditions being gross, I will probably speak up, be it on social media or write a complaint letter to the company, because that really does impact people.
I’ve never had issues with body image around weight, and I feel like I was so focused on managing medical stuff and the appearance diversity stuff that that didn’t come into play. But definitely I wanted to change the way I looked. I used to play with my mum’s makeup, I guess, to change. But that was more of an experiment. Everyone was doing it. I often think as well, you know I said, I have no body hair, but I try and shave my legs because everyone else is doing it. I’d be thinking, this is weird because I don’t have any body hair, but I just want to do what everyone else is doing. So, yeah, it absolutely did. I think when you turn 30 as well. I think that was a turning point. Just became more confident in what I was wearing. I would wear a lot of browns and greys to not stand out. I’m wearing navy today. Definitely wouldn’t wear navy and black because I’d get skin flakes on my shoulders and people would actively discourage me. You shouldn’t do that because your skin will show on your shoulders. Now I don’t really care about that. It’s not important. So there was that.
Also having a skin condition, particularly one that involves shedding skin, it’s a very public thing. It’s very much like you leave yourself behind. I felt I really struggled in that. There’s a sense of shame. There’s a sense of, you’re dirty or people don’t want to touch you. When I used to work in the government, I’d have people that didn’t want to answer the phone after I’ve had it to my ear. There was one time, and I actually struggle with this because I had such great, supportive managers at the time, but one of them came up to me and said that you have to use a different toilet because people are upset about your skin in the cubicle. So they wanted me to use a separate toilet. I didn’t but it was really hard. It’s hard to call out that microaggression as discrimination for what it is. Obviously she was just passing on a message, but at the time, it was very hard. So there’s that. And when you’re dating, you’re very self-conscious of your body. And so there was that. I don’t want him to see me with an unwashed face. Often I wouldn’t go to sleepovers and stuff – one, because I wasn’t invited, but if I was, I’d always have to get up early to make sure that they didn’t see me before I’d have my face washed or have a shower. And then, to an extent, when I was dating, there was that.
Olivia: I think it is something like you said before, when you hit 30, I definitely felt a shift. It’s like you just stop caring so much about what other people think and start embracing who you are. It’s annoying that it takes that long to get to that point, but when you do, it’s so freeing.
Carly: It is. And also, just having more of a financial freedom to dress how I want and wear the things that really make me happy. Now my work affords me really fun things, like I go to premieres of musicals and I’ve travelled and I speak with amazing people, and that has been amazing. I’ve become really good at speaking out and advocating as well, and having difficult conversations with people and saying, “this isn’t okay”, or, “this is discriminatory”, or, “this is how you can do better”. So having those conversations, I think, is good.
Olivia: Using your voice.
Olivia: I’m excited to hear your answer on this one. What’s the best compliment you’ve ever gotten?
Carly: Lots of people compliment me on my smile and my fashion. Adam says I’ve got really good boobs. That’s really nice.
Olivia: Thanks, Adam.
Carly: It’s really funny, actually. One of the things that happens with ichthyosis is that your skin renews at a very rapid rate. So people without ichthyosis, their skin would probably renew once every 28 days. Mine renews once every day.
Olivia: Is it every day?
Carly: Every day. Through that, you use a lot of energy. But also I’ll have a shower in the morning and then a shower at night. And if I leave it later than a certain amount of time, I know that my body feels different or sore because the skin has grown over in some parts. And at the end of the day, my boobs are often really perky because the skin has stiffened. And I remember saying to Adam, “my boobs are much more perky than this morning”. He’d be like, “oh, I’ll be the judge of that”. That’s quite funny. They have a bit of a lift at night. I mean, it’s a pity they don’t feel great.
Olivia: They hurt, but they look good.
Carly: Yeah, I feel a bit uncomfortable.
Olivia: That is so good. Also not what I expected. I didn’t expect you to talk about your boobs, but I love it. I love that for you. Yeah, I can’t say I can relate to that one.
Carly: But also hearing that I have helped someone become more confident in their own skin. I think that is the best non-appearance-related compliment I can get, that my writing has changed their life in that it is helping tell their new partner that they’ve got a skin condition, or even admitting to themselves that they’ve got this condition and that yes, it’s okay, and that it’s okay to seek assistance. They can go to a dermatologist, or they can get mental health treatment if they need. That’s an incredible compliment.
Olivia: It’s huge.
Olivia: And I hope that on the days where you’re getting shitty comments from shitty people online, that you can hold on to that and know that you are making a massive difference.
Carly: I have a file on my phone called ‘Lovely’, and I just put all the compliments in.
Olivia: That’s so nice.
Carly: You should do that, too.
Olivia: I should. That is such a good idea because there’s so much hate on there that sometimes it’s hard to ignore. That’s a really good idea.
Carly: Yeah, do it.
Olivia: Okay. If you could go back and give your 16 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Carly: Stop using that weird hair stuff that makes your hair yellow. Remember that hair lightening stuff?
Olivia: I did the same. It didn’t go yellow. It went like a weird orangey.
Carly: Yeah. Stop doing that. Also, it will be fine. You’ll be fine. You’ll be great, even. You’ll get a great job and meet great people and have good friends, and you’ll travel and you’ll find a partner. But also you’ll find that you love yourself.
Olivia: Yes, I love that.
Carly: I think that is the most important thing, though. I hear a lot of parents of kids with ichthyosis say, grieve, and I get it. I get the grief. But also, when they’re grieving for their child, they’re grieving for someone like me because their child’s life hasn’t ended. Their child can thrive with this condition. I’ve seen parents say, “My child will never do this”. “They’ll never be able to wear a short sleeve dress at their prom”, or “they’ll never be able to get married”. And I’m like, “you know what? You can wear a long sleeve dress and the world won’t end”. But also, you don’t have to get married. Loving yourself is so much more important. Your worth shouldn’t be based on if you’re going to marry or not.
Olivia: It’s funny what people get upset about or fixate on.
Olivia: Okay, this is our lucky last question. Say we finish the interview today and you step outside the studio and you come across a lottery ticket that happens to win you $10 million. What would you do?
Carly: Yeah. I’d go on a holiday, buy a house.
Olivia: You could do a few holidays.
Carly: I shop a lot, though, so it might not go very far. I’d absolutely go on holiday, buy a house so that I wasn’t in the rental crisis cycle. And save some money.
Olivia: Sounds good. Where would you go?
Carly: I don’t know. I really want to go back to Vietnam. The other thing I would do is I would also donate a lot of money to people with ichthyosis who are in developing countries because it’s incredibly hard for them. I am absolutely recognising my privilege here, but when a person is spat upon, is physically harassed because of their ichthyosis, their disability, and the police don’t do anything because they don’t see it as a valid thing. I’ve got friends who are just enduring the most awfulest of discrimination. As I said, babies get killed because they’re seen as a spirit or a curse. So, I would absolutely give the money, and I do anyway. Not that I have $10 million, but I help out people because I feel that their experience of ichthyosis is so much different to mine. It shouldn’t be when we’re in 2023.
Olivia: Definitely. Thank you so much, Carly. It’s been so good to talk to you, as always. I’ve learned so much. And I could talk to you for 10 hours. I think we’ve done a lot.
Carly: We’ve done a lot. Thank you.
Olivia: But thank you so much. Always a pleasure.
Carly: Thank you.
If this podcast has helped you or made you think differently about facial difference, skin conditions and disability, you can buy me a drink. Thanks!