Can you win America's Next Top Model with a skin disease? For CariDee English, age 26, it wasn't easy.
“I needed to prove to myself and the world that I had it [psoriasis]… it didn’t have me,” winner of cycle seven and former host of Oxygen’s Pretty Wicked, tells In Touch exclusively. “Being a woman, I’ll always be so insecure. Being in this industry, coming into myself, knowing I have this, knowing I’ve had struggles… but knowing this was my fuel to prove I could do it.”
CariDee has accomplished a great deal to live her dream of becoming a model. Now a psoriasis advocate (which prior to treatment with biologic medication Stelara covered 70 percent of her body), it appears CariDee is an ideal role model and advocate for those living with the disease.
“Being diagnosed at a young age was extremely difficult,” she says. “As a child, sleepovers just didn’t happen. I didn’t want people to see my skin. I wasn’t comfortable in pajamas.”
But it’s the opposite message she hopes to send to the children and teenagers she works closely with through the National Psoriasis Foundation who suffer from this condition like she did.
“I want to inspire them to just be in the moment and have fun,” she explains. “After we hang out, go chase your dreams, live your life, enjoy the moment. You can wear your T-shirt, let’s go swimming, I’ve got your back.” Simply put: “Let’s just be kids.”