Mariana Mendes has set out to empower women in a way only a few other people can. The 24-year-old Brazilian was born with a large black birthmark in the middle of her face. She could have had it removed, but chose to keep it and wear it like a badge of honor instead. Mariana went for treatment, but in the end, chose to forgo the process, and her reason has us feeling super proud of her!

As Rare As They Come

Mariana Mendes hails from Juiz de Fora, Brazil. The photograph you see is of her taken on the day she was born. Yes, you noticed it right. Mariana was born with large congenital melanocytic Nevus due to a pre-natal mutation in the infant’s skin cells. “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,” she said. The life of this girl who is currently 24 years old and the spirit she has displayed is as rare as the condition with the probability of 1 out of 20,000 babies born with it.

Her Mom Wanted It Removed

It became a matter of concern for Mariana’s mother who looked at her child’s Nevus and was forced to think that her child would be bullied. It was because of this that Mariana was made to go through medical treatments for satisfying the purpose of reducing the size and severity of the birthmark. Her parents were hoping for the treatment to be successful so that they don’t have to always be worried about their daughter who aged 5 at the time of the treatment.

The Treatment Didn’t Really Work

After the treatment, the results were not that noticeable as Mariana’s parents had hoped for leaving them distraught. But, surprisingly, it boosted Mariana’s confidence and will to live her life in the same state as The Almighty had gifted her. She told her parents that she was in no mood to get rid of the mark as this made her unique and even stronger.“I’m grateful for that, because if I was old enough to understand I would never have wanted anyone to change my nevus in the first place,” She told the Daily Mail. You won’t believe what this girl has gone on to do and achieve in her life.

A Bright Career Ahead!

“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,” she said. It is because of this bold attitude and sheer hard work that Mariana has made a name for herself in the modeling industry. She has silenced everyone who called her ugly through her photoshoots which are quite inspirational.“I feel more beautiful and totally different from other people because I have a nevus,” she stated. Her mark has become her unique identity helping her to reach new heights.

Refusing To Erase It

The story of Cassandra Naud, a 24-year-old professional dancer from Alberta, Canada has a lot in common with that of Mariana Mendes. Apart from being born with the same condition as hers, she displayed the same courage and confidence to refuse to get her Nevus surgically removed and embrace her uniqueness rather than considering it as something that ruins her beauty. No wonder this decision changed her life completely.

People Are Cruel

In an interview, Cassandra revealed that when she was small she was not as confident and bold as she is now. Growing up, she had to face criticism from her peers who would also go on to say that she wouldn’t be able to survive in high school because of the mark on her face. Though there were times when she was tempted to rethink her decision of not getting it removed, her spirit never allowed her to take any significant step towards getting a surgery. As you read on, you’ll find out that her decision eventually proved fruitful for her.