Katie Crenshaw was tired of people seeing her infant daughter and asking, "What's wrong with her face?" When Crenshaw looks at her daughter, she sees a beautiful little girl, and she wants the whole world to see that too.
7-month-old Charlie was born with a capillary hemangioma on the right side of her face, below her eye. It is one of the most common benign orbital tumors that infants can develop. Unless there is a pressing medical concern or complication, doctors usually don't intervene. And many of the marks disappear as babies grow up.
Charlie's birthmark is merely cosmetic, but that doesn't stop people from commenting.
Frustrated with friends and family questioning her daughter's birthmark and praying that it would disappear, Crenshaw wrote a blog on her website, Twelve & Six, to change the conversation.
"It's so important to change the conversation and change how they speak around her because that will be the key to how she deals with people's opinions of her," Crenshaw told ABC News.
Since writing her blog, Crenshaw has received numerous emails of support from other parents.
"We don't need to talk about it every time you look at her," Crenshaw wrote on her blog. "We see past the color of her face. Charlie is Charlie and it's part of who she is. It doesn't need to be constantly commented on, critiqued, or questioned. While I don't mind educating curious minds, I don't need your opinion on [its] progress or the [effect] it may have on her. It's a part of her unique beauty. It may never disappear, and guess what? It doesn't have to. I would much rather chat about her latest milestone achievement, her amazing smile, or how gorgeous her eyes are."
Crenshaw told the Huffington Post that her ultimate goal is to "normalize 'differences' in appearance" for all people with a birthmark, and it began with a request.
"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 wrote on her blog. "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."