The “clever” Thanksgiving advertisement by FanDuel caught my attention immediately. It wasn’t because I love to watch sports or that I bet on games (I don’t). Rather, their stating of the odds of a family member mentioning their psoriasis at the family gathering felt off-putting as someone who has lived with it for most of my life.
I appreciate how the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) responded with this FaceBook post and debated until now whether to share my thoughts. But I feel I still need to.
As of today I hadn’t seen a response from FanDuel, but if I do I’ll amend this post. Regardless, I disagree that “everything in life is a bet,” as the commercial suggests. Thinking in these terms about others who have a serious chronic illness is insensitive and dark. Nor is it “TMI” to share about living with a chronic illness.
For much of my life I’ve fought the stigma that psoriasis is “just a rash” that is an annoyance to others.
What the commercial portrayed is the very haunting thought that no one wants to hear about my psoriasis. So I stayed silent, isolated, and alone. Coming to a place where I could share about its impact on my life, and even expose my skin in public, took much courage and determination.
As the NPF mentioned in their FB response, family plays a key role in supporting those living with psoriasis. I am realistic that not everybody in the family is going to understand. The impact of living with a disease like psoriasis is not something easily comprehended by those who don’t live with it 24/7. But a little empathy goes a long way in ameliorating the real impacts psoriasis has on mental health and overall wellbeing.
FanDuel just doesn’t get it. Using an insensitive portrayal to get sports fan to gamble on your site only perpetuates the harmful stereotypes I’ve battled since childhood. And itt potentially sets back those with psoriasis who need support and understanding from family and society.