Lindsey Shanahan

Be different and be happy!

Hi, my name is Lindsey Shanahan and I come from Wales. I have a birthmark. A port wine stain.

It is quite a big birthmark on my face.L1

When I was younger I used to wear make up. I didn’t like it because it was too thick. People around me were fine with my birthmark. Looking back it’s surprising how kids develop and get used to things like this SO easily. Way more easier than grown up people do. Of course, many kids would look at me, stare and ask what was on my face. Usually people in town. My friends were used to me and so were the kids in school. Although I wore make up to school they did know I had a birthmark.

When I got to comprehensive school things were ok until a boy asked ‘why do you wear make-up to school?’ and from then on I stopped because he knew I had a birthmark. Everyone did. So I gave up the make-up. I was used to people starring at me. If I was in a good mood I’d just ignore them or if I was in a bad mood I’d say ‘WHAT, what do you want’ and they turn away.

So when I left school, others were starting to wear make-up. I hated it. When I got my 1st job I didn’t wear make-up at all, I don’t today. People know me. When I go out, of course, I do wear make-up. But ordinary foundation. Not putty like make up and LOTS of powder.

Today I have a niece and nephew. My niece’s little friends sometimes ask me what is on my face, I tell them or sometimes she tells them and that’s it.

In my twenties I had laser treatment, but it didn’t work very well. My birthmark is too big for it to disappear.

But today I feel there are SO many people worse off than me. I am about to move into my first home of my own, I have a job and family and friends who love me. I am able to go on holidays, see concerts, go to the theatre, all things that I love to do. I’ve even been a member of several amateur theatre groups and performed on stage at our local theatre!!!!!!!!!!!!! No-one turned around and said ‘oh no Lindsey you can’t go on stage with that birthmark’. I’ve been doing shows for over TEN years now!!!

So it’s not all bad. A birthmark is there, wherever it is on your body. It’s part of you.

L2