Woman dubbed 'monster' as a child embraces the birthmark spanning half her face
A woman who was called a "monster" as a child, and bullied throughout her life due to the rare birthmark covering half her face, has now decided to embrace her looks through her Instagram blog.
Nathalia Moraes Freitas is an aspiring motivational speaker, born with congenital melanocytic naevus (CMN), which causes a dark birthmark that covers 40 per cent of her face.
Nathalia, who originally hails from Brazil but now lives in Los Angeles, went through nine different surgical procedures between the age of nine months and 13 years old to make her mark smaller. Despite that, her appearance still attracted constant unwanted attention.
She went to university where she graduated with a degree in marketing and advertising, then afterward moved to the USA. There, she attended her first ever conference for sufferers of CMN in Chicago, where she had an epiphany about her condition and decided to face her insecurities and overcome them.
Commenting on her life in a recent interview, Nathalia stated: "People would stare and ask my mom questions. Some were genuinely worried about me, asking what had happened. Others were just nosy, but from an early age, I felt people didn’t see past the birthmark, they didn’t see the real me.
"I was badly bullied by the other children, mainly the boys. That changed everything because I realised that I really was different and what a huge impact my birthmark was having on my life and happiness. The boys would call me cruel names like monster."
She added: "I wished for a long time I was like the other pretty girls. I was very sad for ages, but never told my mum or the teachers about the bullying, because I thought it was my fault it was happening. The teachers were kind, I made friends with people I am still in touch with now and, eventually, I found myself becoming one of the popular girls with a cute boyfriend and a growing understanding that is it okay to be different.
"I told myself those kids who had picked on me and been unkind were just wrong. I am a good person with good values and that’s the true me. At some point in my life, I decided to reject all those names I was called and stop blaming myself for something I didn’t choose."
"I’ve realised I was born this way. It was not a choice. I am healthy – the way I look is not because of an illness or a car crash. Image is not everything and how I look does not define me. I can do whatever I want and if you join me on this journey of self-love, so can you."
If you'd like to keep up to date with Nathalia then why not check out her Instagram account?