19 yr old Ciera was born with a rare skin disorder called Giant Congenital Melanocytic Nevus. This is a very rare skin condition where she has hundreds of birthmarks that cover her face and entire body.
At birth the doctors told Ciera’s parents that the disorder was not life threatening but the birthmarks will increase over time, which Cierra says it feels like she gets a new one every day.
Life has not been easy for Ciera she says that teenage boys are always the first to have something to say about her. She told her story to the Mirror in an editorial piece done about her life and her decision to embrace her beauty.
“Teenage boys are usually the first ones to comment when they see me.
“They say things like, “You look like you’re dirty, take a wash.”
“But I’m so proud to be different and, at the end of the day, we all have something about us that’s unusual, whether it’s on the inside or the outside.
“Everyone is born to look different, and we’re should all feel beautiful in our own skin.”
She says: “One day I remember being on the school bus and hearing a young boy laugh at me and call me a ‘spotty dog’.
“That really knocked my confidence, I was only young and it made me feel different to the other kids, like something was wrong with me.
“Over time I’ve learnt to brush off negative comments and remember that most people stare and say cruel things because they’re not used to seeing someone with my condition.
“People in my town don’t bat an eye when they see me now, as they know me. But if I go somewhere new, it’s not so easy.”
Ciera was fortunate to be raised in a small town with very supportive parents. Her mother told her, her spots were angel kisses and her father stood up for her every chance he got when someone has something even remotely negative to say.
Her mother Julie, says: “There have been times when people’s ignorance has gotten to her, with their comments or stares, but all and all she has stood strong.
Ciera is prone to skin cancer so she must wear sunscreen. “Sun cream is like my best friend. I have to be extremely careful to make sure I’m protected on hot days. I use high factor cream and don’t spend too much time in the sun.
“I still wear shorts and T-shirts when it’s warm, but I just have to make sure I’m being safe.”
Ciera has been coping very well with her condition she chose her skin disorder as the main subject for a high school project and discovered a whole community of others who have the same thing:
“Discovering groups on Facebook has helped me realize that I’m not alone. I’m hoping I will be able to attend a Nevus Outreach conference, so I can meet other people with my condition.”
Ciera is redefining what beauty is in her own way, being different is always beautiful.
Check out her gallery of pictures here.