The awesome reason one girl went from hiding her 'flaw' to sharing it with millions.

When Julia was little, she had a small grey mark on the left side of her face. By the time she turned 13, it had spread across her forehead and cheek.

Since it didn't look like your average birthmark, it worried Julia and her parents, so they went to a doctor to make sure it wasn't cancerous. While the biopsies came back negative, the doctors didn't have a name for the discoloration on Julia's face.

Julia Hernandez. All photos via Dermablend.


So, like any young woman of today, she put a photo of herself on the internet, and someone with the same condition told her what it was. It's a birthmark called Nevus of Ota, which is simply a hyperpigmentation of the skin.

Unfortunately, however, learning her birthmark's name was only half the battle. Now she had to learn how to live with it.

Considering she was also entering her teen years, a time when kids are the most judgmental, that was easier said than done.

"When [people] see my birthmark, they ask me if I have a black eye, or if I got in a fight, or something," says Julia. "That just made me feel, like, not normal."

She tried various coverups to conceal it, but none really did the job.

After years of enduring regular taunts and jeers, she finally came upon a foundation that helped — Dermablend.

Julia applying Dermablend.

"I was so happy because I never thought I would find a makeup that would make my skin look even," Julia says.

Now that she had the choice to cover up her birthmark, Julia decided to take a huge risk and put her whole self out there for the world to see.

She began doing makeup tutorials on YouTube during which she'd expose her skin pigmentation to show people how one covers up a birthmark like hers.  

Showcasing this longstanding insecurity was not a decision Julia made lightly. She was incredibly nervous about what judgments might pop up in the comments. However, to her surprise, no such comments appeared.

Instead, Julia was flooded with messages of support and solidarity from people dealing with their own vulnerabilities. She even came across one girl with the same birthmark who was so grateful for the confidence Julia's makeup tutorials instilled in her.

But makeup isn't just about overcoming insecurities for Julia. It's also about exploring her artistic side.

"My face is like a canvas," Julia says. "I love to paint, so I get to be creative and create whatever look I want that day."

She doesn't feel like she has to cover up her birthmark all the time anymore, but when she does, it's more about showcasing her true self rather than trying to hide it. Dermablend gave her that choice, and with that came a huge dose of confidence.

"At the end of the day, it’s just a birthmark," Julia says. "It’s not who I am."

Check out Julia's whole story here:

Dermablend Reflections: Julia

After hiding her birthmark for years, she now feels comfortable just being able to be herself.

Posted by Upworthy on Wednesday, December 13, 2017
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L'Oreal Dermablend

I'm staring at my screen watching the President of the United States speak before a stadium full of people in North Carolina. He launches into a lie-laced attack on Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, and the crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Send her back! Send her back! Send her back!"

The President does nothing. Says nothing. He just stands there and waits for the crowd to finish their outburst.

WATCH: Trump rally crowd chants 'send her back' after he criticizes Rep. Ilhan Omar www.youtube.com

My mind flashes to another President of the United States speaking to a stadium full of people in North Carolina in 2016. A heckler in the crowd—an old man in uniform holding up a TRUMP sign—starts shouting, disrupting the speech. The crowd boos. Soon they start chanting, "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!"

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

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