This single mom has decided to embrace the 300 moles on her body
In recent years, the body positivity movement has been encouraging people to forgo body-dysmorphia and perfectionism, and instead embrace self-love and self-care. One person who has recently decided to appreciate her own body and learn to love her own skin is single mother Cheryl Shaw.
Cheryl, who hails from Birmingham in England, was bullied and teased throughout her childhood, as a result of the 300 moles that cover her body. However, after struggling with her self-image and depression for many years, Cheryl has now chosen to be open about her moles, and no longer wants to hide them away, in order to set a more positive example for her children.
After planning a family holiday to Orlando, Florida, Cheryl realised that it would be too hot to cover herself with baggy clothes. The simple act of buying a pair of shorts motivated her to accept her moles and show some skin.
Fast-forward to 2019, and Cheryl has even decided to participate in the Love Disfigure’s protest outside a Victoria’s Secret lingerie shop in London.
Commenting on her past, Cheryl stated: "People would come up to me and just ask, ‘What’s that? Chicken pox?’ On the bus to school, a lot of the kids used to look and say, ‘Ew, what’s that?’ and called me a Dalmatian. It made me feel really uncomfortable. I never used to date a lot because I didn’t know what people were going to think.
"The people that I have dated have accepted me for me, but when it came to becoming more intimate and showing my legs I found that very difficult. So I really couldn’t be myself around the people I used to date."
She continued: "I noticed as I started to get older that it was starting to affect me mentally. It made me so depressed. As you get older, you start going out with friends, going on girls’ holidays, but I was always too embarrassed to go.
"When I used to go out clubbing, I always used to wear jeans. Clothes shopping would just depress me because I couldn’t wear dresses, so I always used to wear the same outfits ... I realised it was affecting me mentally. I was at a point where I didn’t like me. I had to start liking and loving myself."
She added: "I remember going on a website and I saw some nice shorts and I was like, ‘OK, I’m ordering up these shorts, I’m doing this’ ... When I put the shorts on and I walked out that hotel, I thought, ‘This is it, I’ve found myself. This is me and this is how I was born,’ and I love that.
"I felt so much more comfortable on the holiday and that did the world of good for my confidence and really changed how I think about myself. Since then, I’ve started wearing a knee-length bodycon dress that I’d never normally have worn before, and no longer wear the jet-black tights that I’d always wear to work so people couldn’t see my moles."
Thanks to her newfound confidence, Cheryl has described 2018 as the happiest year of her life, and wants other people to have the same epiphany she's had. You go Cheryl!