LIFESTYLE
25/03/2015 08:39 GMT | Updated 25/03/2015 11:59 GMT

Woman Who Was Bullied For Birthmark Has Some Inspirational Advice On Body Confidence: 'Don't Worry About Looking Normal'

An agent advised professional dancer Cassandra Naud to digitally remove her birthmark from casting photos.

But the 22-year-old refused. She loves the dark mark that covers a large section of her cheek and wants others to embrace their natural look, too.

"It makes me unique and memorable, which is especially important for the career I've chosen," Naud said, according to the MailOnline.

Naud was born with the birthmark on her right cheek, but her parents declined the option to have it removed shortly after her birth.

Doctors warned that removing the dark patch could leave Naud with permanent scarring and a lazy eye.

Although the dancer is now pleased her parents chose to leave her mark, she was bullied as a child because of it.

"Their cruel remarks were hard to deal with and I'd often fight back tears. I felt ugly - even if only for that moment - and I was terrified of how I'd be treated once I got to high school," she said.

According to the NHS, most birthmarks are harmless and don't need to be treated, although medical intervention may be needed if a haemangioma blocks the airways, affects vision or becomes ulcerated.

Thankfully, Naud's birthmark has never caused her any other health complications.

These days, she proudly displays her birthmark on Instagram and tags her pictures #BeautyRebel and #InMySkinIWin.

The hashtags are commonly used to promote diversity in the media and have been used be celebrities including Winnie Halow - a model with vitiligo who recently won a beauty award at Gala magazine's Spa Awards 2015.

Stronger than yesterday. #BeautyRebel #InMySkinIWin Photography by Adrian Favela

A photo posted by Cassandra Naud (@cassandranaud) on

Naud has learned to see her birthmark as a positive, rather than a negative, and wants to inspire others to embrace their natural selves as she has.

"People should appreciate their individuality," she said.

"Times are changing, so don't worry about looking normal. Don't let bullies stop you and be proud of your uniqueness."

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