Born with a large birthmark under her right eye, a professional dancer has refused to have it surgically removed, choosing instead to embrace her uniqueness.
Cassandra Naud, a 22-year-old dancer from Alberta, Canada, says that she loves her one-of-a-kind appearance and believes that her birthmark makes her memorable in her industry.
Naud was once told by a casting agent that she should digitally erase her birthmark from her headshots, but she thinks it is a positive attribute. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Cassandra refused to have her birthmark removed as she was told she would be left with severe scarring.
My birthmark is a huge part of me.
It makes me unique and memorable, which is especially important for the career I’ve chosen.
When Cassandra was born with a huge brown birthmark under her right eye, her parents, Richard and France, were told they could have it removed. However, concerned that the procedure might leave their daughter’s face heavily scarred, they decided against it.
2. Cassandra Naud was born with a large birthmark under her right eye, but rather than have it removed she has chosen to embrace her individuality.
The daughter now says she is happy with her parents’ decision, as the effects of the removal procedure might have been extremely damaging. She says:
As my birthmark sunk through several layers of skin, plastic surgery was the only option for removal. Doctors gave my parents a choice, warning them there could be scarring or I could be left with a lazy eye.
I’m so glad my parents chose to leave my birthmark as it’s part of who I am. Having a birthmark distinguishes me — and I don’t feel that it has ever held me back.
3. Cassandra works as a professional dancer and believes that her birthmark makes her more memorable.
A good-looking young woman, Cassandra is used to attracting people’s attention, but she admits that strangers are often intrigued by her birthmark. She says:
People come up to me in the street and ask me about it. I don’t shy away from questions — it’s natural to be curious.
It’s covered in hair which makes it difficult to disguise, but I honestly don’t mind. I know some people might feel sorry for me, but I’m confident in how I look.
4. Cassandra, pictured with her mother and father, says she is thrilled that neither she nor her parents went through with the removal of her birthmark.
The dancer hasn’t always been so self-confident. In fact, during her school years, Cassandra was often bullied. She says:
They’d taunt me saying: “You’ll get beat up in high school” and “The hair on your cheek is gross”.
Their cruel remarks were hard to deal with and I’d often fight back tears. I felt ugly — even if only for that moment — and I was terrified of how I’d be treated once I got to high school.
5. Cassandra Naud dance reel.
6. When Cassandra was born, her parents were given the option of having the birthmark removed but concerned about scarring they decided against surgery. Pictured: Father Richard, mother France and brother Oliver.
As a result of all the bullying she suffered, Cassandra was plagued by a desire to fit in and, at 13, she told her mom a shocking news. She explains:
I told my mom that I wanted to remove my birthmark. My parents were shocked but understanding of my decision and immediately booked an appointment with a plastic surgeon.
He explained the scarring I’d be left with and I immediately changed my mind. I figured it wouldn’t be worth it and told my mom that I’d prefer to keep my individuality.
It was a moment of madness, but I’m so glad I made the decision to keep it.
7. While she was growing up, Cassandra, pictured with her mother France, suffered cruel taunts from bullies and even considered having her birthmark removed in her early teens.
8. Cassandra graduated from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in LA last year.
Once Cassandra graduated from high school, she studied dance theater at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles, where she starred in a production of a musical, Cabaret.
Cassandra graduated in July 2014, but remained in Los Angeles, where she currently works as a professional dancer and recently starred in a promotion for sport’s channel ESPN.
She has also worked for Nickelodeon — a popular kids’ channel. Cassandra says:
A lot of roles require the performers to have a certain appearance. I’m never going to be hired by Disney, for example, because they want the “perfect” look but I’m OK with that.
I don’t often face prejudice, but one agent told me to Photoshop my birthmark out of my head shots. Wanting to please, I agreed at first, despite feeling shocked they’d asked. But then I changed my mind.
9. She has previously been told by casting directors to have her birthmark removed from headshots but she has chosen to ignore them as she thinks it helps her stand out in the industry.
Cassandra’s birthmark has not prevented her from finding love and she is currently in a relationship with Patrick Cook, 21, whom she met eight months ago in Los Angeles. She says:
We met at an audition for a dancing role and we’ve been inseparable ever since. He always tells me I’m beautiful.
And now Cassandra wants to urge others to love themselves for who they are. She says:
People should appreciate their individuality.
Times are changing, so don’t worry about looking normal. Don’t let bullies stop you and be proud of your uniqueness.
10. Cassandra’s birthmark has not prevented her from finding love with boyfriend Patrick Cook.
Source: The Daily Mail.
Share this story with your friends and your thoughts in the comments below. Please retweet it to your Twitter followers — they would want to read that, too.