Growing pains can be sheer torture, especially when you’ve got a huge birthmark on your face. Just ask Mariana Mendes from Brazil, who was bullied as a child, but as an adult has managed to redefine society’s beauty standards. Now she’s become a model, and one hell of an inspiration for others like her. She certainly knows how to rock this whole self-esteem thing!
FACING SOCIETY’S ISSUES
“What’s that on your face?” This was a question Mariana Mendes was asked a lot growing up. Mendes was born with a congenital melanocytic nevus, or in layman’s terms, a birthmark, which covered a large portion of her face.
SHE WAS ALSO BORN WITH CONFIDENCE
The condition is a pigment-producing disorder where the cells aren’t evenly distributed, causing a clumped cluster of dark colored moles full of melanin called nevomelanocytes. Nothing this strong lady couldn’t handle!
Mendes doesn’t feel like her birthmark hinders her beauty. In fact, if anything, it allows her to stand out from the typical beauty norm, and make no mistake, she is certainly quite a beautiful 24-year-old woman, and Mendes has managed to be a hidden gem, but not for long.
KEEP IT CUTE, OR PUT IT ON MUTE
If you want to give her a compliment, she’ll definitely take it. She’s even admitted that she’s used to people staring at the mole on her face, but for those who don’t like it, she has a three word response, “I don’t care.”
HER MOTHER FEARED FOR HER
Like any mother, she wanted what was best for Mendes. So when she was 5, she took her to a doctor to undergo laser surgery treatments to help reduce the size of the birthmark, so she wouldn’t be bullied in school.
WHAT DOESN’T KILL YOU
The mole has certainly given Mendes the courage to love herself. We’d dare say that it’s also made her stronger, unique, and certainly quite stunning! After all, traditional is boring! As far as her nevus is concerned, it’s a part of who she is and she loves it.
WHAT IS IT?
Mendes is often asked whether it’s makeup or a tattoo, but if it’s an explanation people want, it’s an explanation they’ll get because she doesn’t mind talking about it, even if people think it’s ugly or strange. T-T-Take that!
MAKING A MARK FOR HERSELF
From her perspective, all of our marks, freckles, rolls, you name it, are what makes us who we are, so essentially, they’re not tiny or large imperfections, but rather a perfect part of who we are on the outside and inside.
OH, NO, LASER DIDN’T
The laser treatments conducted on the stylist/model from Juiz de Fora, Brazil, didn’t do much and she’s glad that the changes of the treatment were unnoticeable, because she’s pleased that she still has a facial difference, and hopes others will embrace their uniqueness too.
BEAUTY FROM WITHIN
Mendes loves herself just the way she is and that’s the real beauty here. It’s like there’s a mysterious allure to her that’s enhanced even further by the way she rocks her nevus with such confidence. In end, we don’t want to blend in. We want to stand out, and our differences help us shine all on our own!