Author Archives: Lena Riedl

On Going That Extra Mile

Living with a rare disease, all I wanted my entire life was to be “normal” and to fit in. But I’ve since changed my mind. Not only have I learned to enjoy being “different” and thriving with epidermolysis bullosa (EB), but also I think I want to be more than…

Rethink, Accept, and Appreciate Your Unique Self

I am finally back at BioNews and writing as “The Girl with the Butterfly Tattoo.” I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed writing. Due to the coronavirus and the craziness that was — well, still is — going on in the world, I had to stop writing my…

I’m Learning to Be Proud of My Body

“People stare at you because you look different. How do you cope with that and why are you proud of the way you look?” This is what Klara Leschanz, a makeup artist and photographer living in Vienna, asked me last month while she was taking pictures of me for…

On Loving Yourself First

What better topic could there be to write about in February than love? Before I started writing this column, I asked what topics people might be interested in reading about. A few said love and relationships for someone living with a rare condition. So, this is what I will…

It’s My Body: Why Unsolicited Comments Can Be Hurtful

It’s annoying — yes, freaking annoying — when strangers and even acquaintances feel compelled to comment on another person’s appearance. I’ve heard comments like, “Your skin looks better than the last time,” or “Your skin is worse than before, right?” Others might mention an increase in weight or someone might…

All I Want for Christmas Is Everything I Already Have

When thinking of a topic for this column, I considered writing on a winter theme. But then, when I think of December, Christmas comes to mind, rather than the season’s cold weather. Christmas for me is family and friends, drinking hot cocoa, wrapped in warm blankets, wearing fluffy socks, and…