By Alyce Collins
A WAITRESS who was asked if she’d been PUNCHED is embracing her birthmarked lip a year on from getting married, after worrying she would never find love because she doesn’t look ‘NORMAL’.
Restaurant hostess Cassandra Hall (23) from Laguna Hills, California, USA, was born with a port wine stain birthmark on her lip and a major vein was diverted to her lip, but she wants to encourage more people with birthmarks to embrace their beauty regardless of the stares.
Casey has five large birthmarks across her body and a few smaller ones which are dotted around the larger birthmarks.
The birthmarks on Casey’s skin are caused by malformations in the capillaries of the skin, and her enlarged lip is caused by a major vein which ended up being diverted to behind Casey’s lower lip.
As she works at the front of house, Casey is often stared at and asked if she has been assaulted or is having an allergic reaction to something when customers see her lip. However, after marrying the love of her life in August 2017, Casey wants other people to feel comfortable with their birthmarks or any differences as she encourages them to turn their ‘disadvantage’ into a tool to help others.
“My birthmark is classified as a port wine stain caused by malformities within the blood vessels in the skin,” said Casey.
“I was told that a major vein somehow got diverted behind my lip and over the years it’s grown naturally.
“I was born with my birthmarks, but my lip has always been bigger, and it’s grown as I’ve grown up.
“The birthmark on my skin doesn’t hurt, I can’t feel it so sometimes I forget that I even have it.
“My lip on the other hand can feel heavy so I’m more aware of it, and when I’m tired or sick it’s almost like it gets hard using all of the blood cells to fight against whatever it is I’m feeling.
“My birthmark didn’t affect me growing up because we lived in a small town, so I went to a school with most of the same people for the entire time I was there. Everyone saw me for me and they didn’t see my birthmarks.
“If ever I ask someone I’ve known since school about my birthmark, they usually say that they can’t even see it anymore.
“I was still self-conscious while I was growing up though because I just wanted to look like everyone else. What child doesn’t want to look and feel normal?
“I never thought I was going to get married because of how I looked, but I proved myself wrong there because there is no normal.
“Everyone is unique and special and being different should be what it is to be normal.”
Casey has learnt how to deal with the stares that she gets for her birthmarks and for her lip as it’s taken her until very recently to come to terms with her birthmark that she’s lived with her entire life.
After learning to embrace her own differences, Casey wants other people not to feel ashamed of their own.
“Most of the time I get a lot of stares. If I’m working, I get asked if I was punched and whether I’m having an allergic reaction,” said Casey.
“A lot of the time, children ask why my lip is so big or why my face is red. It’s fine when children ask because they’re still learning and if they see something different then they don’t have a filter which I quite like.
“I’d rather be asked what it is directly than have someone think I was physically assaulted and just stare at me.
“My birthmarks will probably never go away and I’m okay with that. It’s taken me 20 years to be okay with that fact.
“I want to be able to spread awareness that skin pigmentation is beautiful too and that you shouldn’t have to cover it up. You can own it.
“I don’t usually try to conceal my birthmarks, but sometimes I like to see if I can make them ‘go away’. I know it will never happen, but I use foundation like everyone else.
“Makeup usually weighs too much on my face to be comfortable and I still have pigmentation coming through.
“If you have a birthmark or you look different from everyone else, you aren’t alone. You are beautiful and/or handsome. Take your ‘disadvantage’ and use it as a tool to educate others.
“Be bold and be who you want to be and take risks. People are going to stare anyway so why not give them a reason to stare.”
You can see more of Casey’s journey by checking out her Instagram @caseyhall9517.