Yulianna Yussef has amassed a large following on Instagram, thanks to her unique birthmarks. She often writes to inspire her more than 69,000 followers with stories of acceptance and connection. But in a new post, she’s sharing some of the struggles that come along with her condition, like body hair and even melanoma.
Yussef was born with CMN, or congenital melanocytic nevus, a disorder that leaves much of her body covered in painful birth marks. Her Instagram following is built on a projection of beauty and confidence, but in her latest post, Yussef lets her fans into the darker side of her photos.
“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 wrote. “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.”
She goes on to detail the side effects of her birthmarks, like the body hair that makes her birthmark-covered back feel “fluffy” and the intense itching that even wakes her up at night.
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. 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. Starting with the hairs, this is a very big and annoying topic for anyone who has many birthmarks and specially a giant one.Sooo my back is actually fluffy ♀ I can't do anything about that, and even more annoyingly, the hairs on the birthmarks all over my body are thicker and more dense than around the normal skin. We cant wax or shave them and all I have heard from doctor is that I should cut them.. wait a second..CUT them?! Now you can imagine me ( for those who are interested I do wax around the birthmark only and that is my own personal risk and I wouldn’t ask anyone to follow my example. Also there were lots of different situations when I really hated this "fluffy stuff". 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 on touch?! ♀ let alone the many awkward questions you get whilst at school or on the beach..Next- The itching is so f***ing bad that it just drives you crazy! Sometimes I literally want to scratch my skin off♀ waking up at night because I can't control myself, scratching it which causes the birthmark to swells and forces me to get up and put cold compress on it. Sometimes I really feel like a . Just imagine some business meeting, of course I'm nervous, if I'm nervous it's itching a hundreds time more and my strength of will not to stretch myself uuff..I am an adult I now can control myself but children no, some scratch themselves till they draw blood at night. There is no solution besides growing up and learning how to control yourself. It's a part of our "difference" and we should learn to live with this. The last one for today is Melanoma. Skin cancer. Anyone could develop skin cancer because of one birthmark#photo
A post shared by Yulianna Yussef (@yulianna.yussef) on Nov 15, 2017 at 9:08am PST
“There is no solution besides growing up and learning how to control yourself,” she wrote. “It’s a part of our ‘difference’ and we should learn to live with this.”
Yussef has worked hard to accept her differences — her beautiful photos prove that she’s not shy about showing off her birthmarks — but she tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the journey to acceptance is a few steps forward, a few steps back.
While drinking my coconut thinking that actually when you stop living your life based on what others think of you real life begins..at that moment, you will finally see the door of self acceptance opened ❤️ #perfectionofmyskin #inmyskiniwin #cmn #bodypositive #rolemodel #bodygoals #story #storyofmylife #beachlife #beautiful #girl #beauty #nevus #tbt #followme #travel #traveling #vacation #sun #summer #bikini #inspiration #motivation #amazing #picoftheday #colorful #follow #photo #unique #raisingawareness
A post shared by Yulianna Yussef (@yulianna.yussef) on Nov 11, 2017 at 9:28am PST
“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 a positive way, but lot of people think that I could infect them!”
When she was growing up, some parents didn’t want her to play with their children. Now, Yussef deals with stares in public. To combat the negative attention, she started a hashtag campaign called #perfectionofmyskin to show off her confident moments.
Yussef wants others to know that she’s “struggling every day” with acceptance: “I’m not a model, I want it to be clear,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “But maybe I’m a role model for those who have CMN or another kind of differences.”
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