We are all born with different qualities that make us unique and beautiful. However, when someone is noticeably different from what is normal, they are often judged and bullied.
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That was the case for teen Alba Parejo in Barcelona, Spain. She was bullied for her unique appearance, but is now challenging beauty stereotypes and proving that true beauty comes from the strength and confidence you have within.
When Alba was born, her parents found out that she had a rare form of congenital melanocytic, a condition that caused her entire body to be covered in moles and large patches of dark and hairy skin.
Alba underwent almost 30 surgeries by the age of 5 years old to remove some of the markings which left scarring behind. Now at the age of 16, Alba has over 500 birthmarks all over her body.
Growing up, Alba was bullied by her peers and told that she looked like a “Dalmatian” or “alien.” She was told that she should keep her large birthmarks completely covered because no one would want a girlfriend who looked like she did.
“I was very embarrassed and ashamed to let people see my nevus and scars, because I was insecure about my body because of all the bad comments I had heard,” Alba told DailyMail. “But as time went on, I realised that my moles, scars and my nevus is a big part of me both physically and psychologically.”
Last year, Alba decided to embrace her differences and end the bullying once and for all.
She posted pictures of her skin on Twitter and quickly received as many as 1,000 retweets and 1,500 likes. In fact, the positive response that blew up in reaction to Alba’s photos kickstarted a new confidence in Alba that she had never had before. After entering in a competition and winning, she is now working as a model for an empowerment campaign with her birthmarks features in ads all over Spain.
Alba is hoping that her confidence to embrace her birthmarks will empower others who are living with her same skin condition.
“I love it when people tell me I have changed their life for the better, for that reason I want to keep showing myself,” she told Daily Mail. “I want to make people accept that we are all different and we don’t have perfect bodies.”
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