Growing up is hard, but it's even more than overwhelming for people diagnosed with a rare disease.
However, Alba Parejo, a 16-year-old born with a rare form of Congenital Melanocytic Nevus that caused her body to be covered in over 500 moles and birthmarks, isn't letting her disease — or haters — hold her back.
The teen has been mercilessly bullied and called names like "dalmatian" and "alien." She's even been told to hide herself because "no one wants a misshapen girlfriend."
"While growing up, I realized people were staring at me because of my skin, which made me feel bad, strangers looked at me as if I was a monster," she told The Sun.
Instead of taking her haters' advice, she decided to bare it all with a viral tweet tagged #bareyourbirthmark — and has since used her internet fame to educate people about her disease.
In a Google-translated Instagram post, Parejo wrote:
"We are all born different and because certain people are born more different from the rest, does not mean that we are less. Today's society is accustomed to everything that is different than normalvis something rare and bad. With this, I want to teach as I am without fear or complex, because thanks to this, I have met many wonderful people (like there are very stupid people) and I am happy as I am."
After her message went viral, Parejo entered a competition to become the face of a local empowerment campaign. Unsurprisingly, she won.
Now the teen is bravely pursuing a modeling career. She's even appeared on the cover of a local magazine.
"I feel very happy now, I show my disease as I love when people react positively, they think my body is fantastic and artists adore my skin, they see it as art.”
Way to go, girl!