Once upon a time one Halloween… Tina, Mui and I walked through Kowloon. A woman recoiled on seeing Mui, then laughed... then stared... then screamed and screamed. The woman had mistaken Mui’s face for a mask… then realised it wasn't.
Mui ran off in streams of tears.
Such screaming happened weekly if not daily on occasion. As parents, we dealt with it each time with Mui at home. Each time we talked it through, came up with answers and solutions, discussed it honestly and openly till Mui was comfortable.
Mui still has difficulties coming to terms with her skin condition. She’s gone through years of (very loud!) denial of all things Ichthyosis. She isn’t as vigilant with her skin care routine as she should be.
People still send hate: “The b*tch is a f*cking ghoul… face it.”People still say: “Just ignore it!” though wouldn’t if it were racially motivated hate.
Too many turn their heads and look away.
In school one of Mui’s friends once piped up: “Mui won’t need a mask for Halloween!”
As parents we asked the teachers to consider a soft discussion of the young girl’s choice of words. We offered to come in to school and present a relaxed talk, though the offer was declined.
These days Mui handles Halloween differently. Her choice.
MUI says: “Everyone goes all out and splashes out on Halloween stuff and costumes. Thankfully I have a cheaper alternative! (Mui's photo pointing to her own face) I am deadly serious. There is an upside to Ichthyosis! This is meant to be a funny post!”
Dealing with Ichthyosis and Halloween remains each individual’s choice.
We’d love to hear your thoughts.
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Thanks. Tina, Mui & me (Rog)