‘Hold the pity:’ Blogger addresses stigma of daughter’s birthmark

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(Used with permission of Katie Crenshaw)

Charlie Kate is a happy, healthy 6-month-old baby. And that’s what her mother hopes others see when they look at her sweet, little girl.

Instead, Katie Crenshaw is frequently asked, “What’s wrong with her face?” Crenshaw’s post from her blog, Twelve & Six, about her daughter’s birthmark is gaining national attention.

Charlie has a capillary hemangioma, measuring about 5 by 6 centimeters, on her face. While they can be a sign of more serious issues, this one is cosmetic.

“We don’t need to talk about it every time you look at her. We see past the color of her face. Charlie is Charlie and it’s part of who she is. It doesn’t need to be constantly commented on, critiqued, or questioned. While I don’t mind educating curious minds, I don’t need your opinion on how it its progress or the affect it may have on her,” Crenshaw, a mother of two, wrote.

Charlie takes medication daily to prevent her capillary hemangioma from growing so it doesn’t obstruct her vision. Many times the “strawberry birthmarks” will disappear.

“The most common sentiments are ‘I’m praying that it goes away.’ Or ‘Bless her poor little heart.’ I’m constantly being asked ‘When will that go away?’ I’ve even heard things as harsh as ‘turn her to her good side’ or ‘Too bad, she’s so pretty otherwise,” her mother said.

But Crenshaw doesn’t want pity and doesn’t believe her daughter has a good side. She said she’s blessed to have a healthy baby.

“I encourage you to, instead of praying it will disappear, pray that she grows into a confident girl who loves herself no matter what she looks like,” she said.

You can read more of Katie Crenshaw’s posts on her blog here.