Teen With Over 500 Birthmarks Embraces Her New Modeling Career
Jay Dawson August 4th 2017 Inspiration
Childhood can be a difficult time for anybody, let alone someone who looks different from what our society believes is normal. Kids who stand out from the crowd are always going to be targets for vicious bullying and tormenting, no matter how hard they try to fit in. But in this incredibly inspirational story, one teen not only survived a torrent of name-calling and targeted abuse as a child, but actually flowered into a beautiful, overnight sensation. This is Alba Parejo, the girl with over 500 birthmarks, and her unbelievable strength and courage will bring you to tears...
A Tormented Childhood
Things were never going to be easy for Alba Parejo. In a world obsessed with traditional ideas of beauty, her 500 birthmarks were always going to label her, unkindly, as something of a freak. Born with a rare form of congenital melanocytic nevus, the marks were all over her from the moment she was born, from her feet to her face. Try as they might to remove some of them - she had had 30 separate operations by the time she was five years old - the surgeries only left her with unsightly scars.
From the moment she entered school, her life became a living hell. Not a day went by without someone poking fun at her appearance, calling her shocking things like "Dalmatian" and "alien". Even besides the relentless bullying, she couldn't go anywhere without being stared at. "While growing up, I realized people were staring at me because of my skin, which made me feel bad," she said. "Strangers looked at me as if I was a monster."
The Truth About Birthmarks
Of course, Alba is a lovely and awesome person, about as far from being a monster as you can get. What makes it worse, as well, is that literally everyone has their own skin blemishes, moles, freckles, and birthmarks - it's just that Alba had a few more than others. Some 10% of babies have a visible birthmark by the time they've reached one year, and that's not even counting regular freckles and moles.
There are so many different types of birthmarks, from "café au lait" spots to port wine stains, that it's incredibly difficult to determine a single cause for them. More often than not, it's simply a result of irregularities in melanin production or an overgrowth of blood vessels occurring while the baby is still in the womb. Congenital melanocytic nevus - which is what Alba has - normally presents itself as one or two moles around the face or neck. In Alba's case, she got a little bit more than she wanted.
She's Now A Superstar
In the end, it turned out better for Alba than she could have ever imagined. Though she weathered years of bullying, one post on Instagram changed her life forever. A picture of herself, birthmarks and all, went viral and attracted outpourings of sympathy and support. Modeling agencies were quick to pick up on her unusual but definite beauty, and before she had even hit 17 years old she was the face of Anec Blau shopping centers and had her body splashed over dozens of magazines.
Through the dark and stormy days, a ray of light had emerged. Becoming a model had confirmed everything she had ever suspected: that she was an incredibly beautiful person. Not in spite of her marks, but because of them. "The nevus is my identity and thanks to it I have met lots of people who are fantastic and amazing," she said in an interview. Not only that, she's inspired thousands more people to accept what they look like and realize how wonderful they really look. Alba Parejo and her story truly is a gift to our world.