For many, it’s a dream come true to hear from a casting agency inquiring if you’re interested in a role on their TV show. I guess it’s a dream for me, too. In fact, it’s on my God-sized dream board to appear on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and to participate on “What Would You Do.”
A couple of months ago, I did receive an inquiry from a casting agency for a reality TV show… but it wasn’t a quite a dream come true.
To sum it up: A man in the U.K. saw my YouTube video and emailed me. He asked if I was still living in the U.K. as he was looking to feature people on a reality TV show: people with “significant medical conditions” who were “looking for love.” When I inquired about the specific name of the show he was casting for, he avoided my question. So I went to Google and did my own research. The casting agency that reached out to me works for two shows with the description he gave me: “Too Ugly for Love?” and “The Undateables.”
I know a few people in the U.K. who enjoy the shows; however, a majority of the people from the U.K. that I’ve connected with are strongly opposed to them. Having limited access to the shows, I only want to focus on the titles. I’m not fond of them. Maybe the show helps educate others about different conditions by raising awareness, but I still don’t like the titles.
There’s a lot I could say about them, but that’s not why I’m writing this. I’d rather focus on the positive. I’d rather tell you why my facial birthmark doesn’t make me too ugly for love or undateable.
1. I have a unique perspective on life. This comes from both my unique appearance and my experiences. I know there’s more than one way to look at a situation. From firsthand experience, I know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover — or a person by how they look.
2. I know how to laugh. I have to laugh, whether it be at myself or at a situation. I know I can’t take everything too seriously. When someone asks if I painted my face with face paint, or a child asks if I got my birthmark from “eating a hamburger,” I laugh. Life would be too hard and complicated without those moments of laughter. I can’t wait to laugh with a significant other.
3. I’d add a bit of color to a man’s life. (See what I did there?) Not only will the purple hue on my face add in some color, but my life is never boring. There’s always a story to tell.
4. My family is amazing. They’ve never treated me differently because of my facial difference. They still pushed me to do my best; they still tell me I can do anything I put my mind to. They’ve encouraged me to be proud of who I am, as I am. They love and support me.
5. I (typically) have a lot of patience. I get asked a lot of questions and I get stared at often. It usually takes a lot to push me over the edge. Sometimes I have to explain my birthmark and condition 20 times a day; sometimes I don’t have to explain it a single time. Either way, I don’t mind.
6. Life isn’t always easy, and I get that. I’m basically a pro at knowing how to persevere, and I never give up. I may get knocked down on occasion, but I always get back up. The staring and the comments? The medical procedures? My image going viral? All these things have had a part in teaching me to persevere with joy.
7. My heart is compassionate. This goes hand-in-hand with having a unique perspective in life. I know what it’s like to struggle, to go through a hardship — both because of my birthmark and general life experiences. When I see others struggling, my heart breaks.
8. I am one of a kind. Birthmark or not, there’s only one me.
9. When I date or marry, my boyfriend/husband won’t be taken for granted. I get that my birthmark isn’t up every guy’s alley, and that’s OK. Especially when it includes laser treatments every two months, rude comments, and constant stares. I know other people close to me are affected by people’s harsh comments and gawking. Whoever I date/marry will probably have similar experiences themselves. Whoever I marry (if I marry), I know he’s been worth the wait.
10. I’m confident. I know who I am. My birthmark doesn’t define me. I can wear makeup, or I can go without it. I’m more than my physical shell. I’m proud to be me, birthmark and all.
I’m not perfect, and I make mistakes… but I know I’m dateable. I’m beautiful both inside and out. Although I hope to continue to grow and become a better person, I wouldn’t change who I am. My life has been an adventure, and I know my journey has a lot of amazing things on the way.
I know not everyone with a facial birthmark or facial difference will relate to my list. Not everyone has such an awesome family, and not everyone feels confident. But if you’re struggling, I hope you’re encouraged to make your own positive list as to why you’re beautiful and/or dateable — because you are. You are one of a kind. You are valuable. You are a unique and beautiful person worthy of being loved.
You are especially worthy enough to love yourself.
The Beautiful Travelin’ Chick,
Follow this journey on The Travelin’ Chick.
The Mighty is asking the following: Describe a moment you were met with extreme negativity or adversity related to your disability and/or disease (or a loved one’s) and why you were proud of your response — or how you wish you could’ve responded. If you’d like to participate, please send a blog post to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a photo for the piece, a photo of yourself and 1-2 sentence bio. Check out our Share Your Story page for more about our submission guidelines.