Birthmarks | Teen Ink

Birthmarks MAG

July 24, 2018
By JosephineCarol BRONZE, Los Angeles, California
JosephineCarol BRONZE, Los Angeles, California
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

When you hear the word “birthmark” you probably think of one of those black or brown spots that you have on your body. For me, it’s different; I have a few on my body, but most of them are on my lips and inside my mouth. Birthmarks are one of my most unique facial features, and I have always been self-conscious about them. I feel that I have them in an uncommon place. In preschool, kids would say that I constantly chewed on a marker. Others would automatically assume that I put Sharpie on my lips. I’m used to being asked, “What are those black marks on your lips?” When I tell people they’re birthmarks they usually either say, “That’s weird” or “That’s beautiful.” My mom calls them beauty marks because she wants me to think more positively about them. I used to consider them ugly but now I find them both interesting and beautiful.

In pictures, I used to hide my birthmarks by pursing my lips so I wouldn’t have to deal with people’s questions. As I was growing up, people wore me out with them. Some people would ask, “What are those black things on your lips?” even before asking my name. In society I feel like we judge people on their looks before their personality. Looks can be deceiving; once you get to know someone they can be totally different from what you expected. It’s good to develop a more open mind.

My birthmarks are caused by an autosomal dominant genetic condition called Peutz-Jeghers syndrome. This is a genetic condition from my mom’s side of the family. My mom has birthmarks on her lips as well as one on her eye. My grandma also has birthmarks on her lips and so do my mom’s uncle and my mom’s sister. This syndrome causes polyps, which are small non-cancerous growths in the intestinal tract. Every other year I have a procedure where the doctor removes them from my intestines. On the day before, I can’t eat anything solid because the doctors need my intestines to be clear so that they don’t mistake food for a polyp. I also cannot drink anything red, because they may mistake it for blood on the scan. Before the procedure they give me anesthesia. No matter how many times I go through the process, I always get nervous – but that’s understandable. At the end of the day I always know I’ll end up okay.

My younger cousin faces a similar challenge. She has a huge birthmark that takes up her whole arm. Her birthmark is pretty noticeable and looks like faded red splotches of paint. She’s never tried to hide her birthmark or change her appearance. It really inspires me. She has always been so much more confident about her birthmark than I am. Once, her grandmother told her mom that her birthmark looked extremely prominent and suggested that she should wear long sleeves more often. If my younger cousin’s mom had actually taken that suggestion, my younger cousin wouldn’t be as confident about her birthmark as she is.

I could’ve covered up my birthmarks a while ago by wearing black lipstick. I mean, I went through the emo phase. Who didn’t? It would’ve totally fit that style. But I’m glad I didn’t. Using black lipstick would be straying away from accepting facial features that make me different. I am finally accepting who I am and now I won’t tolerate people making fun of me. I am no longer insecure about my birthmarks and I don’t try to hide them when someone pulls out a camera. I don’t hesitate when someone asks me about them either. I say, “They’re beauty marks” and smile without pursing in my lips. 

The author's comments:

There are many things that make me different from the way my mind thinks to what boosts my creativity. But my facial features set me apart as well. The simplest features can make you different from the rest.

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This article has 4 comments.

on Jun. 6 2019 at 3:37 pm
Roxanna_Foxe SILVER, Anonymous, North Carolina
8 articles 0 photos 25 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." - Mark Twain

Beautiful! I love the way you turned something you initially thought of as ugly into something with a positive attitude. Keep up the good work! :)

gabbywagner said...
on Mar. 19 2019 at 11:11 am
gabbywagner, Mill Hall, Pennsylvania
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
This is a very unique story about yourself! :))

ashtonpeters said...
on Mar. 19 2019 at 11:11 am
ashtonpeters, Lock Haven, Pennsylvania
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
Very Unique Story

on Aug. 12 2018 at 12:34 am
Saam_the_cool, Los Angeles, California
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I really like this nice job