All her life, a woman with a giant birthmark has needed to listen to what other people thought about the way she looked. Because the mark covers her from her stomach all the way to her back, she has had to hear all sorts of names and comments about it, including many slurs and insults. But now she is done with her bullies and has decided that she won’t listen to her bullies anymore and is standing up for herself.
“I was a Dalmatian, a giraffe, a cow,” she told Mirror Online about what her bullies used to say to her before she took a stand. “I was dirty, and people thought that if they spoke to me, my birthmarks would jump at them.”
As a little girl, Yulianna Yussef never thought much about her birthmark. However, as she grew older, and her classmates became crueler, she started to get picked on for it day after day. It all changed when she turned eight-years-old. That’s when people started talking about her body and pointing at her flesh. It made her very uncomfortable and made her feel like she was on display.
Some parents refused to let their children go near Yulianna because of her birthmark.
Now Yulianna is twenty-five and has grown a lot. She has come to terms with her birthmark, which is known as a Congenital Melanocytic Nevus or CMN. Hers covers her back to her stomach. Besides the one large one, she has other marks over her body.
“I was quite a happy and carefree child,” she told Mirror Online. “Before I was eight-years-old, I didn’t pay much attention to my birthmarks. I remember myself looking at my skin in the mirror pretty much without any particular emotions. But after eight, I started to notice all these eyes on me and fingers that were pointing at my legs, and words that people liked to say. In three words, I was bullied.”
She added that she didn’t just have to hear about her birthmarks, but had to endure ridicule and hate.
“It wasn’t only commented, parents of other children didn’t let me play with their kids because they thought I was contagious.”
Yulianna grew up in Warsaw, Poland. Things got so bad during her teenage years that she stopped going outside unless it was dark out.
“When I was 14 or 15-years-old, I went with my friend to the beach, and of course people looked at me. Some old woman came to me with her advice on how to remove my ‘warts.’ Some waitress in the café said unkind words to me. Lots of things like this happened that morning.”
Later, she decided to fight back. She realized most people didn’t even understand her birthmark. So she created an Instagram page to raise awareness around CMN. Now she has nearly 100,000 followers.
“I want to be happy, healthy, feel beautiful and confident and sexy in my own skin, and I am now. But it’s been a long way to this.”
Yulianna stood up to her bullies, and now she’s an inspiration to others with CMN.