The most powerful attribute to self-confidence is the ability to conquer what one perceives is an imperfection. How does one do this? By gaining inner strength, and using their so-called “faults” to prosper.
While you can’t control certain aspects of your life, you can create a focal point and dominate your field of passion. These seven people have done just that. Pushing through barriers with determination, they haven't let their eczema hold them back.
Peter Moffat is a two-time award-winning British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) writer who brought awareness to eczema by capturing a realistic perception of life with the condition. His show “Criminal Justice,” which aired on the BBC network between 2008 and 2009, portrayed a lawyer who battled severe eczema while taking on his case.
Moffat didn’t have to do much research for this character since he is a former lawyer and suffers from severe eczema himself. Having the pleasure of meeting and interviewing him, his bubbly personality was infectious.
When I asked him if he could name something positive about having eczema, he replied, “I suppose it’s given me a kind of … certain strength actually, funny enough. I don’t know if I’d applied that strength elsewhere in my life, but it’s certainly specific to the disease. I’m not going to be stigmatized. I’m not going to be isolated, you know. I refused to be those things.”
Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, also lives with eczema. Some sources say that her skin condition was among the reasons she was bullied at the Downe House, her private boarding school. However, that didn’t stop Kate from accomplishing many goals.
After completing her secondary schooling at Marlborough College in Wilshire, she studied Italian and art history at the notable British Institute of Florence, the first royal to hold a degree. In addition, she’s completed her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, which recognizes well-rounded youths and was an avid photographer. Oh yeah, and she just so happens to be married to a real-life Prince.
Tia Mowry-Hardrict is a multifaceted career woman, best known for her acting. With her twin sister, Tamera Mowry-Housley, she starred in their very own TV series called “Sister, Sister” that aired from 1994 - 1999. She has since moved on to other roles and has become a lifestyle influencer with her very own YouTube channel, “Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix.” Mowry-Hardrict was spared from eczema in her childhood and young adult years. Only in the past few years was she diagnosed with the skin condition.
In an interview with InStyle magazine, she said, “I remember the first flare up I had and it’s something that really messes with your self-esteem a little bit.” As she’s often in the spotlight, I imagine it takes an even bigger toll on her, considering she’s never had to deal with it before. However, that hasn’t stopped her from filming, being a mother of two, and partnering with some of the biggest brands.
Daniel Boey is known by many as the “godfather of Singapore fashion.” As one of the most sought-after fashion producers and directors, he’s worked with big names such as Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, and Jean Paul Gaultier. In addition, he was a judge of “Asia’s Next Top Model.” However, his life hasn’t always been glamorous. Daniel was diagnosed with eczema at a very young age.
In a 2017 interview with the Straits Times, he said, “I've been told point blank that there's no place for someone like me in fashion. People have asked me what I'm doing in fashion because I don't look like a fashion person.” Little did they know he would not only dominate in this industry but go on to write two books: one dedicated to fashion, the other dedicated to eczema.
Kerry Washington is a famous actress that played the iconic stylish character Olivia Pope in the political drama TV series “Scandal.” Something many of us didn’t find out until recently is that she also struggles with eczema. In an interview with InStyle magazine, she’s stated, “I actually had terrible eczema growing up and had to learn how to manage it.”
Not letting anything get in her way, she’s performed with the TADA! Youth Theater teen group. She also attended the George Washington University, majoring in anthropology and sociology, and upon graduation studied at Michael Howard Studios. She’s acted in dozens of roles and received a Doctorate of Fine Arts in 2013 from George Washington University.
Elizabeth Falkner is a James Beard nominated chef who happens to have eczema. If you’re a foodie and a fan of cooking shows such as “Chopped” and “Top Chef,” you may recognize her. She’s also owned restaurants and created innovating recipes that have taken the culinary world by storm.
I was lucky enough to interview her by phone about living with eczema while being extremely accomplished. One particular response of hers stood out from the rest. I asked her, “How did you not let [eczema] get in your way?” To which she replied, “I was not going to let it stop me. I knew I was talented. I knew I wanted to do this. And I knew I could do this. I wanted to have a good life. Life is just challenging in general and there are pros and cons to everything because that's life.”
Nadia Sawalha is a well-rounded actress and TV presenter known for her role as Annie Palmer on the British soap opera “EastEnders.” She was diagnosed with eczema at the age of 17. She labels her eczema as her “John rash” because she believes it was brought upon due to a breakup with her boyfriend.
Her skin condition is a little bit different in that it went away for years, only to make a comeback once she was a mom. In a DailyMail.com article, Nadia described the eczema on her hand as something from a horror film. She also mentioned at one point that her skin wasn’t in the best shape causing the crew to film around it. To this day she credits homeopathy to helping heal her skin.