Ciera Swarigen, from North Carolina, has been bullied for her numerous birthmarks but has learned to love her body
We’ve all had days when we haven’t felt so great about the way we look. But if you ever need a lesson in how to love yourself, look no further than Ciera Swarigen, an inspirational 19-year-old from the USA.
Ciera was born with a rare skin condition called Giant Melanocytic Nevus, which causes mole-like birthmarks all over her body. She told the Mail Online that she’d endured bullying for her appearing, saying: ‘Teenage boys are usually the first ones to comment when they see me. They say things like, “You look like you’re dirty, take a wash.”‘
She explained that the cruel taunts ‘knocked [her] confidence’ but that she’s learned to ‘brush off negative comments’ and feel comfortable with her body.
Ciera grew up in the small town of Richfield, North Carolina, where the population is just 600. She now works in a local shoe shop, and credits her family with helping her find her confidence.
‘I feel lucky to have grown up in a small town, because most of the people around me know about my birthmarks, so I felt quite normal,’ she explained. ‘I remember when I started school my mom told me that my birthmarks were angel kisses – and that really stuck with me. ‘And my dad is the first person to stand up to defend me if anyone says anything horrible to me.’
Ciera has even done a school project on her condition. Her attitude is really quite amazing – she’s shown that beauty is far more than skin deep, and that she’s got the strength to rise above people’s prejudice.
Ciera, keep doing you!