(Pһoto by Astrіd Stаwіаrz/Getty Imаges for POPSUGAR аnd Reed Exһіbіtіons )
Jenna Lyons is the epitome of casual glamour, impeccable tailoring, and an eye for fashion. She climbed to the top in a very aggressive profession as president of J. Crew. That takes hard work, confidence, vision, and incredible style.
The Real Housewives of New York star admitted that her genetic disorder inspired the fashion that she is known for today. Jenna took the challenge, and turned it into a net positive for her life.
But that doesn’t mean that she doesn’t feel the effects of incontinentia pigmenti, or Bloch-Sulzberger syndrome. Nor does it mean that residual challenges don’t surface. Especially during bikini season.
Jenna spoke out in the latest episode of RHONY. She was in conversation with her brother and admits that she feels “abject terror” of a cast trip to Anguilla.
“I’m not going to be wearing a bathing suit. It’s not happening. I’m literally going to be wearing, like, tweed pants and a blazer at the pool,” Jenna said.
After her brother asked her to explain herself, the Love Seen creator admitted, “my skin” is the reason.
According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, incontinentia pigmenti causes issues with the skin, hair, and teeth. Those with the disorder could suffer from bald spots, missing or small teeth.
Jenna revealed that she suffers from “discolorations all over my skin.” And the experiences she had in summer time in “California-in-a-bathing-suit days” leave her uncomfortable with the idea of exposing her skin.
Her brother asked, “Does it still bother you after all this time? Is that why you don’t want to do the bathing suit thing?”
“Yeah, totally. I don’t want to be in front of them. They all are gorgeous,” Jenna replied. “I’m not being nice. It’s the truth.”
Childhood memories still haunt Jenna
Jenna then revealed how people reacted to her skin condition as a child. The memories are still very raw, it seems, and add to the RHONY star’s discomfort.
“I know it’s a genetic disorder but most people don’t, and people are like, ‘Oh, you’re dirty,’ or like, ’You have something on your skin,’ and it’s like … I don’t actually want to deal with that,” she said.
“I still remember going to [Buena Park, Calif., amusement park] Knott’s Berry Farm, I was like, wearing shorts and standing in line, and some girl behind me going, ‘Ew, look at her skin.’ And I don’t really want to do that on a vacation,” Jenna continued.
The fashionista had to cope in the best way that she could. Isolation was her coping mechanism of choice. That and working on her tan.
“Every summer for as long as I could remember, I would like hibernate away from everybody else and get a tan, because when I didn’t, in the sun it really looks magnified,” Jenna said.
Perhaps Jenna can use the girls trip to Anguilla to get that vitamin D! She revealed that she feels her best when under the sun.
“People are always saying to me, ‘Oh what’s on your skin?’ Or, “Oh, do you have a burn?’ So getting a tan kind of quiets the visual noise and it makes me feel better,” Jenna concluded.
The Real Housewives of New York continues Sundays at 9/8c on Bravo.