Beauty is not skin deep: Teen’s picture of her 500 birthmarks goes viral

Beauty is not skin deep: Teen’s picture of her 500 birthmarks goes viral

- Alba is a 16 year old who has over 500 birthmarks from a condition called melanocytic nevus.

- Last year she courageously posted a picture of her skin on social media and it went viral.

- Her won an empowerment campaign and her story has been posted in multiple sources of media and even on buses.

Alba Pareja, a 16 year old from Barcelona, was born with over 500 birth marks. Most teens experience bullying at some point in their life, even when they are 100% ‘normal’, this teen knows this better than most.

People are quick to judge on one’s appearance and this is what Alba has had to deal with her entire life. As humans we fear the unknown and put up a block to thing we do not understand, even though there may be absolutely nothing harmful by them.

Due to our human default of the unknown, people like Alba get isolated and bullied for being different. Alba had to grow up being teased for who she is, even though she has no control over it. But she has grown strong and decided to use her experience to educate people and promote body positivity, proving that beauty comes from within and is not defined by your exterior.

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“The worst thing I heard was someone telling me ‘don’t show your back to anyone, because no one wants a misshapen girlfriend”

The condition Alba has is called congenital melanocytic nevus which causes majority of ones skin to be covered in dark, hairy patches and spotty moles.

Last year Alba did something very brave and posted pictures of her skin online. She did this to educate people on what was ‘wrong’ with her, but instead, the picture went viral. From being teased her whole life and becoming a very self-conscious teen, she took a giant leap out of her comfort zone

“Last year I chose to be more open about my condition and posted photos of my skin on twitter, thinking that it would only be seen by friends but I was wrong.”

The picture got nearly 1,500 likes and 1,000 retweets. Alba was extremely shocked by the reaction. The response was positive and people were grateful for her strength as she has enabled others to be proud of their differences.

“I had people contact me from all over the world, telling me how inspirational I was and it has helped to love who I am and my skin.”

All the positive support gave Alba the strength and confidence to enter a competition to be the face of a shopping center’s empowerment campaign. To Alba’s surprise, she won.

Her story is now featured in magazines, newspapers, on billboards, and even on buses.

“I feel very happy now. I show my disease as I love when people react positively, they think my body is ‘fantastic’ and artists adore my skin, they see it as art.”

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