For every artificial decal in Lamm’s kit, there are inspiring real stories of people embracing their physical distinctions. I collected a few of my favourites here…

  • Birthmark – “This Guy Is Transforming His Birthmark Into A Map Of An Imaginary World” (see photo above): “A 25-year-old New York-based college student is transforming a birthmark that covers a majority of his arm into a map of an imaginary world with just a pen. The student, named Jacob, posted the images of what he calls his ‘birthmap’ onto Reddit, and they quickly spread across the web. Jacob told BuzzFeed News he has been doodling on his hand for as long as he can remember, but began seeing his birthmark as a map in high school. He said to draw the full map takes an hour and a half or more. He says it took time, but he’s learned to accept his birthmark. ‘I felt pride that the marks that distinguish my skin were not chosen, but the result of quirky genetic mutations and so far more meaningful to me,’ he said. His birthmark has also taught him to not rush to judgment. ‘I think of it as my own private lens by which to see a world filled with people with differences, visible or invisible, that they think alienates them from everyone else.’…For those with birthmarks like his, Jacob says he has a simple message: ‘Your birthmark doesn’t define you any more than you let it,’ he said.”
  • Body HairThis Bearded Bride Will Challenge How You Think About Beauty” (see photo below): “Kaur has Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, an endocrine system disorder that can cause major hormonal imbalances. For Kaur, it caused her to start sprouting facial hair when she was just 11. ‘I used to have my face waxed two to three times a week,’ she told the blog Rock N Roll Bride, ‘and on the days I couldn’t bare the pain I would simply shave.’ Despite growing up in a supportive home, she admits that she often resorted to self-harm. At 16, though, Kaur says she radically shifted the way she thought about herself. “I told myself, ‘The energy you are putting into ending your life, put all that energy into turning your life around and doing something better.’” The Slough, U.K.-based Kaur decided to embrace her beard. “I have now fallen in love with the elements on my body that people may call ‘flaws.’” “I love my beard, my stretch marks, and my scars,’ she told Rock N Roll Bride. ‘These elements make me who I am, they make me whole, they make me complete.” (Featured on Urban Bridesmaid, and tapped Kaur to model in a new feature on the site)
  • VitiligoA Woman Got This Bold Tattoo To Stop People Staring At Her Skin Condition” (see photo at bottom): “’I wanted to share with people what it is because that way they would learn something, rather than stigmatising.’ She hopes that the tattoo helps answer the question many people have in their heads about her skin. Now people are like, ‘I love your tattoo.’ They ask questions about the condition and go away enlightened. They know I didn’t get burnt in a fire. They know there’s a term for what I have. It’s very liberating.’ Posteraro says that an encounter with a woman with vitiligo – as well as finding out about the model Winnie Harlow, who also has the condition – inspired her to be proud of her skin.”
  • Stretch Marks – “Women Openly Share Why They Love Their Stretch Marks”: “My stretch marks remind me of how much stronger I’ve gotten…I smile because they remind me of my first pregnancy and having my first daughter….It’s a fun fact about me…They’re mine and it shows that I’ve grown up.”


bearded bride