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Woman With A Facial Birthmark Gets A Body-Positive Artistic Treatment

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25-year-old Crystal Hodges was born with a facial birthmark caused by a condition called the Sturge-Weber Syndrome.

The said syndrome can affect the blood vessels and may cause glaucoma and migraines. All her life, Hodges has dealt with bullies that criticized her for the unique port wine stain on her face.

According to Hodges, there were days when she wouldn’t think about the port-wine stain on her face until her photo became a meme and went viral online.

The said meme appeared on a Facebook page with photos and stories of children with cancer and other terminal illnesses with the caption “1 like = beautiful”.

Although the Facebook post may have not intended any harm, it hurt Hodges and made her feel like a “sympathy case.”

As a response, Hodges made a meme of her own, writing: “Like and share this if you agree that women – and men – don’t need the internet and thousands of strangers to validate them and their beauty.”

Last May, Hodges approached a group of street artists and wondered if they would include her facial birthmark if she asked them to draw her.

All of them included her birthmark except for one artist who said: “I don’t know if this is rude to say or not – but it looks as though you were punched in the face.”

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Crystal Hodges| Instagram: thetravelin_chick

But this encounter motivated Hodges even more to conduct the social experiment in her mind. She contacted artists online and sent her photos with a request for them to draw her (in some photos, her birthmark was somewhat hidden, in others, it was completely visible).

Here are some of the most stunning drawings of Hodges made by artists all over the world:

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Crystal Hodges| Instagram: thetravelin_chick

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Crystal Hodges| Instagram: thetravelin_chick

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Crystal Hodges| Instagram: thetravelin_chick

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Crystal Hodges| Instagram: thetravelin_chick

Aside from her body positivity campaign, “Embrace You” Crystal Hodges also devotes her time in meeting people who have the same medical condition as she is. She is also a motivational speaker, author and blogger.

She is also the social media manager and the anti-bullying campaign manager for the Vascular Birthmarks Foundation.

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“Maybe you’re going through a tough storm, or you’re burnt out. You may be incredible stressed, and possibly carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders,” Hodges wrote in her blog. “And in the midst of your struggle, you may feel forgotten, invisible, and as though you’re losing your shine.”

She added: “Here’s the deal…You are valued. You are seen. You are known.”

Read more from Cystal’s Blog here: The Travelin Chick

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