Woman embraces birthmark in a series of stunning photos
Corporate trainer Lee Conderacci was born with a large brown birthmark on her body; a case of congenital melanocytic nevus. This is a skin condition which manifests itself when skin cells called 'melanocytes' cluster together in large patches, and produce melanin. As a child, Lee wasn't concerned about her birthmark, but by the time she reached her teens, she became more self-conscious, particularly when it came to dating.
However, six months ago Lee stumbled across an online community of people with CMN. She said it reaffirmed her joy of life, introducing her to like-minded people who are celebrating their own skin. As a result, she's decided to embrace her own body with an amazing series of photos, and has even had her picture displayed by the CMN charity Caring Matters Now.
Commenting on her photo shoot in a recent interview, Lee stated: "I wondered if I would ever find love, but, in reality, my birthmark has been a blessing in disguise, as it’s helped me weed out superficial, disingenuous jerks and I am now in a wonderful relationship. Now I know that, rather than hiding it away, it’s my birthmark that makes me special and meeting other people with CMNs has instilled me with even more pride and joy. I am proud of them and I’m proud of me."
She added: "I realised I had to go beyond accepting myself and embrace myself. My birthmark is what makes me special – it’s a part of me. I admit that the first time I went out with my birthmark on show, wearing a strappy top and with my hair up so you could see it all, did make me nervous. But I just kept telling myself over and over in my head that I should live life the way I want, and wear what I want."
Despite that, Lee sometimes does endure judgement from others that upsets her. "The mind boggles at what adults think it’s acceptable to say. People seem to have this grotesque curiosity and feel entitled to ask whatever they want. I’ll constantly get people asking me what it is or giving me tips on how to hide it, and sometimes I’m just not in the mood for that kind of attention. One of the worst places is bars, as people are drinking so their inhibitions are down. I’ve been asked if it’s a tattoo or why I have paint all over me. Men have even used it as an ice-breaker!"
To learn more about CMN, why not visit the official website of Caring Matters Now for further information?