Woman covered in over 200 birthmarks overcomes her bullies and inspires others to do the same
A woman with over 200 birthmarks, including one that is covers 32 inches of her body, is choosing not to let this particular twist of fate get her down. Instead, she hopes to inspire others to believe in themselves and "embrace what makes you different", transforming something she was relentlessly bullied for into a symbol of positivity and hope.
Libny Molano, a musician from Bogotá, Colombia, didn't have the best of times at school. As she was covered with birthmarks all over her body, with the most prominent one covering most of her right arm, she was a target for ridicule from a young age. Her bullies mocked her by calling her "gorilla", "dalmatian", and even claimed she had "the hand of the devil".
Her self-confidence was helped by the fact that her parents had explained to her since she was young that the birthmarks weren't a big deal, so she honestly believed they weren't an issue. But the kids at school had other ideas.
"Since the first day of my life I've been handling people's reactions but I never really noticed them because I was protected by my parents 24/7 until I started school," she explained to Media Drum World, "Children have the most honest and at the same time cruel reactions in the world, so that changed me."
"I noticed they were afraid of me and they didn't want to spend time with me and they called me a Dalmatian and said I was a gorilla and some of them told me I had the hand of the devil.
"This was extremely painful and confusing because at home they always told me I was unique, and after that I started noticing everyone's reaction everywhere I went and that made me feel sad, ashamed, afraid and insecure."
The 24-year-old wasn't going to accept this as a valid reaction to her appearance, however, instead opting to become her "own superhero". Overcoming those feelings of insecurity and shame following the comments children made at school was no easy task, but one that she knew that she had to do to keep going.
"I got tired of feeling sad and insecure and I decided to become the best version of myself and be my own superhero. My friends and family love that I now see what they've always seen and they feel so proud of me."
"My advice is to embrace whatever makes you different and make it your best feature, we all have our own 'birthmarks' and that's what makes us who we are."
She's not satisfied even after overcoming these issues, as she knows that she can help others with her story, showing us all that the blemishes and "flaws" we perceive on our bodies are something we are able to push past, finding beauty in our differences rather than trying to live up to unrealistic standards.
"The message I want to convey is that we are all masterpieces, made perfectly by a great painter, and we shouldn't see ourselves as anything less than that," she said, "We're all a 'Mona Lisa' perfect and unique in our own way."
To see more of Libny, you can follow her Instagram account "libmolano", where you can find her spreading her message of body positivity and individual merit.