A woman targeted by cruel bullies because she was born with extensive birth marks has stripped off after years of covering her skin.
Lorena Bolanos, 24, from Queretaro, Mexico, has more than a dozen raised birthmarks, or moles, including a large one, known as a giant congenital melanocytic nevus, which covers much of her torso.
She was taunted as a teenager over the way she looked, with peers calling her ‘Dalmatian’ and making fun of her appearance. On one occasion a classmate even told her she should ‘kill herself’ because of the way she looked.
The constant negativity drove Lorena into a deep depression during her first year of university. She was also left too ashamed to expose her birthmarks in public, instead covering them with long-sleeved t-shirts and scarves – despite the hot climate.
Lorena Bolanos, 24, from Mexico, was branded a ‘chocolate chip cookie’ by cruel bullies because of her birthmarks. She has now stripped off to promote body positivity
Now the body positivity activist has bared almost everything in a revealing photoshoot as part of the Underneath We Are Women project, which champions diversity.
Lorena explained her attitude towards her body changed earlier this year when she saw an online troll abuse another woman on Facebook about her appearance.
She shared a post on her Instagram talking about her birthmarks which quickly went viral, leading to her being chosen for the body confidence shoot.
Speaking about her journey to confidence, Lorena said: ‘When I was a little kid it wasn’t a problem. My mom always said, “You’re a healthy child don’t worry about it”.
The import and export manager was taunted as a teenager by peers who called her ‘Dalmatian’ and even urged her to take her own life
Lorena was also left too ashamed to expose her birthmarks in public, instead covering them with long-sleeved t-shirts and scarves – despite the hot climate
‘It was when I started school that it got really terrible. I was so uncomfortable.
‘Kids would stare at me and they started calling me “Dalmatian” which was so hurtful and cruel. It made me feel so bad about myself.
‘I would come home from school and just cry with my mom. When I was a teenager, I just didn’t have relationships. I wasn’t confident enough.
‘In middle school I was lucky to have a group of really supportive friends but in high school, everything changed.
Lorena was born with the birthmarks but did not mind them as a young child as her mother brushed them off
However when she started attending school she was cruelly taunted about them and began to feel conscious
‘I was on my phone one evening when this guy from my school sent me a message. It said, “Why don’t you just kill yourself?”
WHAT IS A GIANT CONGENITAL MELANOCYTIC NEVUS?
A giant congenital melanocytic nevus is a birthmark that covers more than two per cent, or 20cm, of a sufferer’s body and requires more than one incision to remove.
The head, legs and arms are normally affected.
Treatment can involve birthmark removal, however, scarring is likely.
Laser therapy can reduce skin pigmentation, however, in some cases the colour returns.
Source: Nevus Outreach