This week, E! personality Giuliana Rancic is speaking out about the scoliosis she dealt with for over a decade. In a recent People Magazine article and in an appearance on the Today Show, Guiliana describes her scoliosis struggles as she promotes her new book, Going Off Script: How I Survived a Crazy Childhood, Cancer, and Clooney’s 32 On-Screen Rejections.
In the book, Giuliana remembers being diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 13. In Going Off Script she states, “The thing about scoliosis is it’s a different kind of ugly for a young girl. It’s one thing to hate your hair or to have bad skin, but those are things you can hopefully treat. [Scoliosis] is very hard to camouflage and it’s all you think about all day, every minute of the day.”
At 21 years old, Giuliana had corrective surgery to straighten out her spine that left her with protruding shoulder blades, which dominated the headlines after she wore a strapless dress to the 2015 Golden Globes.
Despite the criticism, Rancic states, “I was called ugly my entire life but it made me who I am today,” she states, “I always tell girls, whatever struggles you go through as a young woman, those are the things that become your power later. Even though it’s painful to think back on, I wouldn’t change a thing. Because everything I went through as a child got me to where I am today.”
To everyone out there in the Spiral Spine community, we need to love and support each other. I’m heartbroken that Giuliana was called ‘ugly’ and may have felt ‘ugly’ as a teenager. Spinal fusion surgery isn’t the automatic answer for everyone, and it doesn’t have to be.
Parents, have an open, educated dialogue with your teenager about scoliosis. If you have scoliosis, reach out for emotional and physical support. Use Spiral Spine as an ongoing resource and truly learn the intricacies of your own body and your own spiral spine. You can take an active role in determining how your scoliosis affects your every day life, for the rest of your life.
You are not alone. You can live a happy, fulfilled life with scoliosis. I do!