A passion for fashion
Roshni Chaudhari’s style blog gives her a focus away from her health conditions and provides an income stream to boot. Here, the 28-year-old explains how writing, clothes and beauty have helped her learn to love herself – PH included…
My blog, Addicted To Lace, has always been my attempt at finding my voice amid the chaos all around me.
I share elements of my personal style, and everything that goes into making fashion what it is. I also cover posts on beauty and skincare.
It provides me with an income I wouldn’t otherwise have too, as I promote brands including L’Oréal, Amazon, Converse and Budweiser – to name a few.
It was clear from the start that because of my health conditions, full-time work was not for me. I have had pulmonary hypertension pretty much all my life, getting my proper diagnosis around the age of eight. I also have VSD (Ventricular Septal Defect) and Eisenmenger’s syndrome.
I couldn’t participate in physical activities or sports in school and I didn’t even attend classes regularly to avoid getting too physically stressed out. But I was extremely passionate about my studies, so I did everything I could to end up with the best grades.
It was clear from the start that because of my health conditions, full-time work was not for me
I was the typical ‘studious nerd’ who could not stand being average, so it didn’t matter if I couldn’t be in class every day; I still studied my ass off (keeping my health in mind though, I got proper sleep and good meals, thanks to my mum). Unfortunately, that’s not something you can do when it comes to work.
I had tried my hand at a full-time internship, but I couldn’t make it to the office every day and it had started affecting my immunity too. That’s when I knew I had to do something of my own, and blogging has allowed me the liberty to do that.
I also write as a freelancer sometimes and the fact that I can do this from the comfort of my own home makes it easier to cope with my health conditions. Although there can be some tiring days when I need to do a photo shoot outdoors or attend events, I usually plan it in such a way that I get enough rest and don’t end up feeling exhausted.
Fashion and my body image
I love to write about fashion. As a kid, I was always very picky about my clothes. I used to admire my mum when she would do her makeup, and I knew that when I grew up, I would get to try all that for myself someday.
I did not care too much about my style when it came to dressing up for school but the fashionable part of me started revealing itself once again when I was in college.
The images I have up on my social media and blog have helped me overcome my body image issues.
It’s always been difficult for me to gain weight because of my health conditions. The side effects of medications take a toll on my digestion often too.
Growing up, I went through so much ‘skinny shaming’ and people didn’t care to ask why I was the way I was. They’d just pass comments like “You’ll never find anyone to marry” or “You really need to eat more.” This was the worst in high school – as we all know, teenagers can be very mean!
I won’t lie, these pictures do make me feel good about myself, however what makes me appreciate this life goes way beyond just ‘looking good’
It was hard to ignore their comments or even try to explain it to them because even I wasn’t sure why my body was the way it was.
It’s not that I’m completely over it or that people still don’t say things – they do, but I’ve adjusted to it better now because I get where they’re coming from.
At the end of the day, I won’t lie, these pictures do make me feel good about myself, however what makes me appreciate this life goes way beyond just ‘looking good’.
You need to live with yourself, not people’s opinions, and if you can’t love and appreciate yourself on the inside and out, what’s the point?
What I realised was when you love yourself, you will do everything to look good and feel confident. Finding your own sense of style, taking care of your skin and body, and using makeup to enhance your best features are all forms of self-love, in my opinion. It’s also an outlet to express yourself and boost your own mood. There are days when I feel down in the dumps but wearing my favourite top or jacket fixes that. Fashion can be great therapy!
Writing about my health
I used to be very apprehensive about talking about my health conditions on my blog, mostly because I’ve seen people reacting oddly. Some people use me as a tool to feel better about their own lives and look at me with pity, while others question how I ‘look so normal’.
I didn’t want my two worlds to be merged at first, but I saw others sharing their stories online and that made me realise I wasn’t alone in this battle. It also pushed me to share my own story so that if, by chance, anyone who’s dealing with a chronic illness like me sees my posts, they wouldn’t have to feel alone either.
I actively talk about congenital heart disease and PH on Instagram and Twitter now, sometimes on my blog too, but I don’t update that as often as I update my social media pages.
The ‘shame’ of living with PH has gone. The only way to normalise it is to talk about it so much that we are finally recognised as human beings with hopes and dreams, just like everyone else!
You can read Roshni’s blog at addictedtolace.com
All images © Addicted To Lace