Skin Deep

The Unshakeable Story

of South Africa's

Shirvani Thilman Naran

This courageous, confident South African GoGirl is stealing hearts back home, here and everywhere!

At first glance, Shirvani seems like any other young, vivacious wife and mother.  But, take a closer look and you’ll notice this petite beauty from South Africa’s capital city Johannesburg lives an extraordinary life, one full of unimaginable challenges.  In a world of picture-perfect, flawless figures and filtered Instagram images that pervade social media feeds, Shirvani’s story is one of inspiration and affirms the old adage “beauty really is only skin deep.” 

Shirvani was born with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), colloquially referred to as “butterfly skin,” a rare, genetic disorder that robs the skin of its resiliency, making any sort of touch or friction cause unbearably painful, unsightly blistering, tearing, and scarring.  Children born with EB are often called “butterfly babies” because their skin is as delicate as a butterfly’s wings.  Though, Shrivani unabashedly rejects the “butterfly” skin moniker, stating “Butterflies are beautiful and [EB] is anything but ‘beautiful.’ It’s pain, it’s suffering.”  The bubbly, bloody blistering of the skin due to EB resembles those of third-degree burns, making seemingly remedial activities, like opening bottles and soda cans, excruciating and dire and is the common cause of skin cancer in its victims between the ages of 15 and 35.  If infection is left untreated, EB can be fatal in infancy.  Dubbed “the worst disease you didn’t know about” from the inter webs, there is no cure for EB, just daily, painstaking treatment and copious care that aim to avoid skin damage and friction of any kind.  The slightest bit of abrasion can result in blood-filled blisters that oftne lead to a complete tearing-off of the skin, which Shirvani experienced while in labor with her firstborn when her doctor simply covered her stomach with an otherwise soft blanket. Yet, Shirvani has learned to live with her skin’s fate and has proved that living a fulfilled, quality life is not only absolutely achievable, but beautiful beyond her wildest imagination!  

Shirvani is one of the world’s oldest living persons with EB and shows no signs of slowing down.  She not only defied doctors’ expectations who predicted she wouldn’t live past six months, she eventually met the love of her life, got married, and had two healthy little girls.  Shirvani tearfully recounts a school vaccine nurse telling her she would never get married or have children because of her unique condition, leaving her feeling broken and hopeless.  However, that all changed when she met her husband Shimal through a mutual friend.  Defying the odds and giving birth – twice – has only boosted this beauty’s self-confidence and emboldened her courage.  Today, Shirvani gushes that she “truly loves herself.”  She advises, “You should never put someone in a box according to what you see, because they are so much more than that.” 

We couldn’t agree more with this inspirational and unforgettable GoGirl.

The Bottom Line

To learn more about this progressive panty purveyor, its philanthropic efforts, and body positivity philosophy, be sure to visit knottyknickersusa.co and on the ‘Gram @knottyknickers where you’ll find “the most affordable subscription-based underwear on the market!” If you’re struggling to find that perfect gift for that special someone this holiday, remember that no girl ever complained about having too many pairs of panties to fill her underwear drawer. To say Knotty Knickers is the “gift that keeps on giving,” making it the perfect present for any occasion, is, well, an understatement.