A woman with an unusually large birthmark has taken to Instagram to promote awareness and acceptance.
Yulianna Yussef was born with congenital melanocytic nevus, a disorder that leaves much of her body covered in painful birthmarks.
Yussef, who has over 71,000 followers on Instagram, has amassed her large following with her bikini and sports bra selfies – all of which feature her birthmark front and center. In most of her posts, she discusses body-positivity and kindness.
However, recently, Yussef has paused to discuss the insecurities and bullying she faces because of her condition, and educate her followers about her skin disorder. So far, her audience is loving it.
Her post from yesterday has already received more than 27,000 likes and nearly 800 comments.
“On my social media feed I try to post fancy photos that showcase how confident I am about my birthmarks, self acceptance and how I’ve learned to live with my giant Nevus,” she began her caption. “But I want to be honest with you and tell you a little bit more about how I actually physically feel and give you some more information about birthmarks.”
Yussef then details what she goes through on a daily basis with her nevus, or birthmark, like having her back covered in “thicker and more dense” hair that she can’t remove, the constant itching and the increased risk of melanoma. She also discusses the difficulty of dating with her condition.
“For example you might try to prepare your boyfriend that you have something unusual on your back .. but how do you explain that you are like [spider] on touch?”
Most of the comments have been positive, calling her “beautiful,” “sexy” and even applauding her “bravery.” However, there have been some that have accused the influencer of posting the nearly-naked photo as a way of showing off.
Though Yussef is just interested in sharing information about her condition, and spreading body acceptance. She even started a hashtag campaign #perfectionofmyskin to encourage confidence in one’s own body.
To Yahoo Lifestyle, she said before she posted the informative photo, she was getting a lot of hate.
“I’m tired of being bullied and hiding from people and from all these clothes that I wear at summer,” Yussef tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I just asked myself why people react at me like that, and the answer was — they didn’t know what it is, some are just curious in positive way, but lot of people think that I could infect them!”
Yussef also confessed to Yahoo that when she was growing up, some parents didn’t want her to play with their children.
She still “struggle[s] every day” with accepting herself, but Yussef is trying to bring awareness and love to others suffering with the skin condition.
“But maybe I’m a role model for those who have CMN or another kind of differences,” she said to Yahoo.