Mariana Mendes was born with a nevus birthmark on her face and she is flaunting it. At first, her family was determined to find a way to get rid of the birthmark covering her face for fear that she would be bullied by kids in school. But when she was 6 years old they gave up – and she is glad because she loves it. Now, Mendes is on a mission to share her story with the world and encourage others to love their own nevus birthmarks regardless of where they are on their bodies.
Mariana Mendes is using her own nevus birthmark to encourage people to embrace and love their own.
Agnes, não só a minha amiga, mas sim minha irmã de coração. Tem alguns anos já desde que me mudei de patos que eu não passo esse dia especial ao seu lado. Mas nunca nunca mesmo deixei de pensar em você e senti sua falta em todos os meus dias, como foi durante muitos anos de nossas vidas! Pode passar o tempo que for, a distância que tiver, que jamais você deixará de ser a minha melhor amiga. Eu amo muitooooooo você é desejo todas as melhores coisas pra você que é um exemplo de pessoa! Sinta se abraçada por mim. Toda a felicidade desse mundo pra você! Você é maravilhosa. Parabéns. ????
According to Nevus.Org, nevus is a broad term that can be used “describe virtually any mole or birthmark.” For Mendes, she has a congenital melanocytic nevus which simply means she has an area on her body with heavy pigmentation that has been present since birth, a.k.a. a birthmark. Mendes, who is from Juiz de Fora, Brazil, told O Globo that her parents started to treat the birthmark with lasers in São Paulo when she was a young girl. When she was 6 years old they asked if she wanted to continue the treatment. She said no.
Mendes says that she doesn’t care what people think about her birthmark.
“Some people do like it, others don’t, some love it and others hate it – I get a very mixed response,” Mendes told Metro. “I have been told by a few people that it’s ‘ugly’ or ‘strange,’ but it doesn’t bother me that’s just their opinion and I think it’s beautiful.”
In fact, Mendes thinks that her nevus actually sets her apart from the rest of the people out there.
Se tem uma coisa que não escolhemos na vida, é a família que vamos ter! Mas Deus sabe exatamente onde te colocar, onde te farão feliz e principalmente onde terão anjo para cuidar de você! E não tem família melhor na vida do que a minha. Além de uma eu tenho duas mães maravilhosas. Tia Carminha amo você!! ❤️❤️
“I feel more beautiful and totally different from other people because I have a nevus,” Mendes told Metro. “Having a nevus that is as large as mine is not common, so of course there are many people who stare and who don’t like it, but I don’t care. A lot of people ask me about my birthmark, sometimes they think it’s makeup or a tattoo but I don’t mind and explain it to them.”
Mendes is using her experience with her nevus to encourage girls to embrace their birthmarks despite what some might tell them.
Part of how Mendes is getting the message of self-love and acceptance out is by a series of photo shoots she did. She hopes that by sharing these photos with the world, women everywhere will love themselves, blemishes and all.
Mendes did tell O Globo that she is happy she hasn’t had to change her appearance too much because her nevus isn’t hindering her health, but she does get it looked at.
“I have not had any changes yet, and the nevus does not harm my health,” Mendes told O Globo. “If it’s stable, it’s because it has no sign of risk.”