Cierra Swaringen, a ninteen year old has giant congenital melanocytic nevus which is a rare skin condition. It occurs to one person in 5,00,000. While Swaringen’s birthmarks are not risky, she cannot have surgery to have them removed.
When she spoke to HotSpot Media, this is what she had to say about her condition: “My birthmarks are constantly growing and I often get new ones, but I’m hoping that will slow down as I leave my teenage years behind.”
People are often cruel to those who are different and Swaringen was no exception. Children bullied her by saying she was dirty and that she could take a wash.
“One day I remember being on the school bus and hearing a young boy laugh at me and call me a spotty dog. That really knocked my confidence. I was only young and it made me feel different to the other kids, like something was wrong with me.”
But as she grew older, things changed. People haven’t stopped commenting but she has taken away their power by not being affected by their comments.
“I’m so proud to be different, and at the end of the day, we all have something about us that’s unusual, whether it’s on the inside or the outside.”
“Over time I’ve learnt to brush off negative comments and remember that most people stare and say cruel things because they’re not used to seeing someone with my condition.”
When she was little and started school, her mother told her that her birthmarks were angel kisses. This comment stayed with her. Her family has been really supportive and helped her build her self-esteem.
When she decided to write about her condition for her school project, her research led her to online support groups that helped her realise that she was not alone. She hopes to attend a Nevus Outreach conference so she can meet other people with her condition.
While her spirit is much appreciated, there are a lot of Confederate flags on her Facebook profile to be entirely comfortable. While the main point isn’t that she may be a supporter of Confederacy, your attention does go there.