Karolyn Gehrig Started #HospitalGlam Selfies to Help Her Cope, And It Blew Up Into Something Awesome

We all take selfies. Whether we just got a new haircut or we're standing in front of some pretty flattering light or, hey, maybe we're just feeling pretty darn fabulous on a particular day. Whatever the inspiration is, I'm a firm believer that everyone should love and embrace their selfies — especially if they represent a powerful message. After she was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS) in 2003, artist Karolyn Gehrig started posting #HospitalGlam selfies from check-ups and doctor appointments. Gehrig said she wants people who enter a doctors office to "feel empowered" and like themselves, a powerful message to say the least.

It may seem like a familiar sentiment to support people feeling confident, empowered, and unique in different situations — but in doctor's offices? In hospitals? That's a point of view that hasn't really been emphasized before. After seeing Gehrig's photos and learning about her message, it's a wonder that the idea hasn't really been discussed or supported yet. Appointments and check-ups can be a scary thing for anyone, let alone those who suffer from a illness like Gehrig. Why shouldn't we be telling people everywhere that they should feel safe, strong and beautiful during their appointments? A disease may be a hard thing to control, but confidence, self-love, and creativity is always in our control. Gehrig knows this, and is telling the world. And I love her for it.

Gehrig's disease, EDS, is a genetic connective tissue disorder that affects the body's ability to produce collagen. Since being diagnosed in 2003, Gehrigs has no doubt become familiar with doctors appointments. While some might view that as a burden, Gehrig has turned her experience into something really beautiful. Something powerful. An opportunity for creativity.