Beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. To be beautiful is nothing out of the ordinary. We’re all beautiful in our own way. Physically speaking, everyone is different. We’re born with different hair textures, skin tones, and body portions. I happened to be born with a huge birthmark on the right side of my face.
I’m not even going to act like my birthmark hasn’t bothered me in the past because it has. As a child, I thought nothing of it. I really didn’t even see it. I was more concerned with playing with my friends rather than looking at my birthmark.
In junior high school, it became apparent to me that my face looked different from other people. I had a huge facial birthmark that engulfed half of my face. People honestly thought someone punched me in the face.
I love to describe my skin as warm milk chocolate. I’m pretty descriptive because I’m a writer. Now image a mass of blackness on the right side of my face. That’s what my birthmark looks like.
Anyway, junior high had me feeling insecure about my appearance. I didn’t want people looking at me. I don’t think anyone with minor differences wants people staring at them. When people would stare at me it would make me feel like less of a human. As I got older the staring made me angry. Especially, when little kids would look my way and ask their parents what was wrong with my face.
‘Nothing is wrong with my face. Thank you very much!’
In high school, most of the people in my school had gone to elementary and junior high school with me. Therefore, my birthmark didn’t shock them. People in high school barely even noticed it.
This gave me some time to really get comfortable with myself. It was in high school that I started to really lose weight from being on the tennis team and swim team. I felt very healthy, energized and I stayed busy. My birthmark was not my main concern nor was I embarrassed by it. My birthmark was just me.
In 2009, my freshman year I was very thankful to have my birthmark. I found my birth sisters on Myspace. Yes, I’m old. I was on Myspace.
My sisters didn’t really have a chance to know me because I was placed in a foster home when I was a baby. That’s a long story, I’m not going to go into details but they only knew me by my name and that I had a birthmark. So I was adopted and my name was legally changed. When I found them, I messaged them and they knew I was their sister because of my birthmark. It’s kind of hard to miss.
I’m in a love and hate relationship with having a huge birthmark. One minute I’m embarrassed because my physical feature is a target for eyes. The next minute I love it because I know that people will be less likely to forget me.
College is when I started wearing makeup. I would use it to cover up my huge birthmark. During this time I focused on my studies and graduating. College is about finding your way and building your foundation.
However, dating in college is just one of the mini concerns of college students. I knew I was going to graduate. That never worried me. However, dating and relationships bothered me. I didn’t date in high school. People would ask me out but I was always shy and turned them down.
Thinking about relationships more triggered insecurities like my hair not being long enough, my weight remaining average and my huge facial birthmark. When I look back on it now, I’m slightly ashamed that I felt that way.
At one point I thought about getting laser surgery. But that’s when I really figured out that my birthmark isn’t an embarrassment. And the only person looking at me with negativity was myself. I decided against getting laser surgery because I feel like I would regret getting rid of my facial birthmark. I wouldn’t be Annie without it.
For some weird reason, my thoughts of getting rid of my birthmark really made me appreciate it a lot more. I think it’s beautiful, unique and creative just like me.
I’m glad I was born with a huge birthmark on my face. We’re all given obstacles in life that make us stronger. I had to learn how to deal with living with a birthmark. But the truth is I want to be a person who stands out from the crowd. I want to write novels, travel the world and meet unique people and find true love. I want to do it all. Therefore, I’m grateful that my birthmark has taught me how to stand out and be positive.
I’ve met so many amazing people with birthmarks who are gorgeous. People have also come up to me and told me they like my birthmark. Those positive comments continues to warm my heart and build my confidence.
I don’t mind anymore when people stare. I understand my birthmark is taboo and uncommon to many people. But I’ve learned to embrace both my outer and inner beauty. I’m comfortable in the shell I was given.
ESU is what I like to call “my own little snow globe". We are a small community, a home away…