Charlie Crenshaw is a sweet, adorable six-month-old girl who lives in Georgia with her mom, dad and older brother. She lives a completely normal baby life where she does things like go to the beach, play in the snow, chew on everything she can get her hands on, and sit relatively still as her mom takes countless photos of her for Instagram. You know, typical baby stuff.
Charlie also happens to have a capillary hemangioma, aka a birthmark, on the right side of her face. And although she knows most people are well-intentioned, Charlie’s mom Katie Crenshaw is tired talking about the birthmark. She’s happy to answer questions people may have, and certainly understands the curiosity of seeing someone who may looks “different,” but eventually the comments and the stares get to be too much and happen too often.
So she decided to write a blog explaining exactly how she feels about Charlie’s birthmark always being a topic of conversation among strangers, friends and family, instead of other things like Charlie’s “latest milestone achievement, her amazing smile, or how gorgeous her eyes are.”
Katie shared some knowledge in her blog Twelve & Six: “She isn’t in pain or ill,” she wrote. “She simply has an unusual quality about her appearance. The most common sentiments are ‘I’m praying that it goes away.’ Or ‘Bless her poor little heart.’ I’m constantly being asked ‘When will that go away?’ I’ve even heard things as harsh as ‘turn her to her good side’ or ‘Too bad, she’s so pretty otherwise’.
“I encourage you to, instead of praying it will disappear, pray that she grows into a confident girl who loves herself no matter what she looks like,” she added. “Pray that constant comments and opinions from friends, family and strangers will end before she’s old enough to overhear them. Pray that she will be a strong person in the in an age where we are bullied for any number of reasons.”
Katie wants everyone to know that Charlie is a healthy and happy baby. “Her hemangioma is just as insignificant to who she is as a freckle on her arm, she wrote. “You don’t need to mention it, and you don’t need to wish it away.”
And as for the people who request Charlie be turned to her good side for photos, Katie wrote, “She doesn’t have a ‘good side’ that we choose for family pictures. I don’t retouch her hemangioma in photos. Her entire face is my sweet Charlie, and it doesn’t matter what it looks like.”
We think Charlie is absolutely beautiful and is very lucky to have such a loving family who cares about her so much. Which is true for all babies who are born into such love.