The Short of It
Here's your heartwarming story of the day: Parents of an 18-month-old girl in England chose to get tattoos to match the red birthmark that extends from the girl's waist to her toes.
According to the UK's Mirror, Tanya Phillips went to the tattoo parlor on her 40th birthday, but it wasn't a butterfly or a snake tattoo she was getting; it was one made to match a large red mark her daughter, Honey-Rae has had since birth. Dad, Adam, had a similar tattoo done a couple months ago.
"Although in our eyes she was perfect, I knew other people would cruelly point and stare at her," Tanya told the Mirror.
Tanya and Adam say they were considering getting tattoos to show Honey-Rae her birthmark was beautiful, but after some people pointed and whispered at the little girl during a shopping trip, they decided to go for it.
"I was distraught. It was the first time I had taken her out without covering her up, and it confirmed all my worries and fears. People are cruel without even realizing," she said. "We had talked about having duplicate tattoos done for a little while, but that day my mind was made up."
People everywhere are praising the couple for showing their daughter she shouldn't be embarrassed about her birthmark.
I can relate. My son was born with a large birthmark on his calf, and even though it's faded considerably, people have noticed it in the past. Last summer, a girl pointed to him and said, "What's wrong with him?" (Luckily, my older son fired back with, "Nothing's wrong with him; he's a baby!" He had no idea she was referring to his birthmark.) But unlike Honey-Rae's birthmark, my son's will likely fade completely. Either way, I'd do anything I could to make sure he never feels self-conscious because of it.
However, it makes me sad that bullying is such a big problem that these parents felt they needed to do this. Tanya and Adam's story doesn't just remind me how important it is to teach our children to embrace their differences, but it also reminds me to consistently convey to my kids that it's other people's differences that make them special, and we should never make them feel bad about who they are or how they look.
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