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Yvonne Evans-Nevin Shares How Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Affects Her Appearance

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Yvonne Evans-Nevin considers herself a “photoshopper’s dream.” Evans-Nevin spent eight years on antidepressants after her chronic pain was misdiagnosed as depression. While she has lost most of the weight she gained while medicated, she still finds it hard to love her body.

• What is Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome?
• What Are Common Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Symptoms?

“I try to love my body,” Evans-Nevin, a former journalist, and mother of two, said, “but it can be hard when you are constantly exposed to unrealistic body shapes on magazine covers.” Evans-Nevin has Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a condition which she says makes her knees misshapen and her body appear bruised and “doughy.”

“My legs make me very self-conscious, as my knees are out of place and almost always look purple and swollen,” she said. “The veins on my legs are pretty visible too, and just, well, odd. I almost never wear anything that shows off my legs. My bruises also make me look as though someone has been kicking me.”

Because Evans-Nevin has issues with her knees and pelvis, she often uses on a wheelchair to get around. “It’s bad enough that I feel self conscious using the chair, but to have people stare is horrible,” she said. “A lot of people might see me out and about on a good day walking around unaided and then see me using my stick or chair. The general public does still very much not understand invisible disabilities.”

In the future, Evans-Nevin would love to open a modeling agency for people with disabilities. “Not even so much to make money,” she said, “but to show the world beauty comes in all shapes, sizes and ‘imperfections,’ and to make people feel good about themselves.”

Read More: This Is What It Looks Like When You Feature Disabled and Chronically Ill People in Magazines

Next: Gaylyn Henderson Is Gutless and Glamorous 

Originally published: August 1, 2016
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