British parents get tattoos of daughter’s birthmark
A couple in England, whose daughter has a large port wine stain birthmark, have had her birthmark reproduced on their own bodies. The little girl was born with blotchy red colouration that extends from her foot to her lower back.
They found that their toddler was being stared at and decided that they too would have the same birthmark on their own legs. This,they felt, would help their daughter to come to terms with the large red discolouration on her leg. The birthmark was reproduced exactly by a tattooist.
The little girl’s mother said that the tattoo on her own leg had taken two and a half hours and said that it was completely worth doing, even though she found it painful. She explained that her and her husband’s goal was to make their daughter feel comfortable with the birthmark and not be ashamed of it.
She explained that matters had come to a head when the family had been out doing their shopping at a local supermarket. They found that people were staring and their daughter, at eighteen months old, was now becoming aware of people’s reactions.
Port wine stains can be treated but there is no guarantee that they can be removed. On the face,or areas of skin that are generally exposed, they can be successfully covered up using makeup and specially developed cosmetics. This of course would be difficult(and probably expensive) when the mark extends from the foot right up the leg.
But it raises the question, why should it be covered?
We are all unique and birthmarks should not be considered as ‘disfiguring’. It harks back to the Dark Ages when these things were seen as being ‘the mark of the devil’ or superstition dictated that people with unusual marks or other birth ‘defects’ were seen as being a sign that the bearer was a witch or some other evil entity.
So why do we still see birthmarks as being disfiguring? They are simply different.
I have a very small port wine stain birthmark on the back of my neck. Being where it is,I didn’t know it was there until it was pointed out to me when I was about nineteen and wearing my hair up for once. You probably have birthmarks too. If mine was on my cheek then yes,I would have probably tried to camouflage it when I was younger but that would have only been because I was pandering to the idea of what we should look like. I’d love to think that these days, I wouldn’t try to hide it, even if it was on my face. ‘Hey, this is me, take it or leave it’.
I hope the little girl grows up being proud of her birthmark and that other people will stop staring and accept that we are all different.
Her parents report that they have received many letters of encouragement and congratulations from people who either have these marks themselves or who have children with port wine stains.
The only person in the public eye I can think of with this birthmark is the former Russian leader, Gorbachev. You can see on the photograph here his port wine stain birthmark on the top of his head.
I hope we see more people in the public eye with birthmarks they are not ashamed of. In recent years many people have complained about the way the media has ‘defined’ what women are supposed to look like and the developments in plastic surgery, cosmetics, dental work and so on means that often, people are starting to look alike.
I recently read about a catwalk fashion model who has Down’s Syndrome. For the sake of children born with differences, I hope we see more people publicly showing that they are not ashamed of the way they were born.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR