Princess and the Frog
Cindy was given a frog of her own in the form of a facial birthmark. She now sees the beauty in imperfection and has embraced her reflection.
"Like many other little girls I enjoyed playing pretend and dress up. One night, as I’m sitting applying the fake make-up my parents had given me, I looked into the mirror and noticed that one eye looked different than the other. Excitedly I thought, “Maybe the make-up isn’t fake? Looks like the joke is on my mom!” I quickly rushed to try and replicate the eyeshadow onto my right eye. The only thing is that no matter how hard I rubbed the applicator onto my eye, it still wouldn’t change colors. Finally feeling frustrated and confused, I went up to my mother and innocently asked, “Why is there make-up on only one of my eyes?” I can only imagine how my mother felt at that moment. Trying to figure out the best way to explain to me that yes I may look a little different but that doesn’t matter. Life gave me a frog I needed to kiss and embrace in the form of my birthmark in order to get my own happily ever after. At five years old, I realized that I did not look like all of my classmates, and they began to realize it too. After all, who wants to kiss the frog?
“What happened to your eye”
You wouldn’t think it, but those five words were some that I grew to hate. Those five words can sound accusatory when said by one person and sympathetic coming from the next. Those five words were a constant reminder that I never really had a chance at a first impression because assumptions were already being made about me and that I needed to try extra hard to distract them from what makes me different. I have had people think my birthmark is a sign of abuse whether from my parents or my boyfriend. I’ve had people think my birthmark is from a fight and that I just fall into any stereotype they may have for me. I’ve had people ask if it was from a disease, makeup, anything and everything you could imagine, I have been asked. Those five words were a constant reminder that I was different. Growing up I didn’t want to be different at all, I wanted to be just like everyone else.
Little did I know that the frog in my life would bring me some of my greatest blessings. For one thing, I am able to have a conversation with just about anybody. Let’s just say, my birthmark pretty much gives people a great opening line. I also met my best friend because of it. After being put on a “watch list” in college for safety concerns (due to incorrect assumptions about my birthmark), she kept a close eye on me. Eight years later we love sharing that story because we can’t help but laugh at it. It took many years until I began to truly embrace my birthmark and recognize it for what it was something that made me unique. I began faking confidence because I learned that people reacted differently once they saw I was comfortable in my own skin. Eventually I wasn’t faking it anymore and truly felt it. Now I actually look forward to people asking me about my birthmark and my friends enjoy some of the stories I share about people’s reactions. I have decided to turn something that could have been negative into a positive. It brings me comfort now when people ask about my birthmark. In a world that is filled with so much hate and negativity, it is a reminder that people still care about the stranger next to them. It is my hope that I can help instill confidence and self-esteem in people. I want to show people that what makes you different is also your strength. Through this strength you can accomplish absolutely anything! My hope is that girls begin to grow up with more confidence and love for themselves to help them make more positive life choices. I strive to teach that self-confidence at home to my little girl. I am filled with joy as she points to one of her beauty marks and says “I am just like mommy because I have a birthmark too”. I am happy that I chose to embrace the frog that life gave me and am writing my own happily ever after."-Cindy