For some people, self-acceptance is hard to come by on a day. A heartbreaking story of a ‘leopard’ girl, who was abandoned by her mother when she was born, won't leave anyone indifferent. This young woman learned to accept and love herself, and today she opens up about her troubled path from ugly to unique.
Meet Irina, or how we can love ourselves for who we are
Meet 26-year-old Irina Pavlutskaya, who lives in the Yakutia Republic, Russia. Irina has a neurocancerous melanosis, a congenital disorder characterized by the presence of melanocytic nevi on the skin.
When the girl was born, and her mother saw that her baby has a special condition, the woman abandoned Irina at the maternity home. Today, Irina recalls her childhood as a real nightmare. Due to her skin disorder, the girl constantly suffered from bullying at school. Her mates gave her a nickname ‘leopard girl’.
For a long time, Pavlutskaya couldn’t accept herself and her appearance.
I was always sure that nobody could ever love me. I could hardly look in the mirror because of my ugly face and body.
Ugly or unique?
Today, Irina works as an assistant in a kindergarten. A few years ago, she received a diploma of a programmer, but in future, she dreams of becoming a psychologist and helping those who are different from the majority of people.
Irina suffered a lot starting from her early years, but she says her bullying experience helped her become who she is now – the confident young woman who is not afraid of any life difficulties and has faith in herself.
We have a video in which Irina shares her experience of accepting herself. The video is in Russian, but we translated Irina’s emotional message.
Now, I do not pay attention to what people say or how they look at me. I used to worry about it, but now everything has changed. The fact that adult people point at me or say something rude about my appearance says a lot about their values. I try to avoid such people, that’s it.
Real beauty is inside
Due to her unique appearance, Irina Pavlutskaya became the heroine of an unusual photo project by photographer Vadim Rufov. It was the first time Irina performed as a model. Her co-partner during a photoset was a boy Nikita, who also has this unusual skin disorder.
After Irina’s photos were posted on social media, she became a real star. The young lady received hundreds of letters from people around the country, who expressed their admiration by her unique appearance, strong character, and inner strength.
One girl with the same diagnosis wrote that Irina’s example taught her to accept and love herself. Pavlutskaya couldn’t hold back tears while reading the girl’s letter:
That means a lot to me. I really hope that I will be able to support and motivate people who have faced a problem similar to mine.
Irina became a real star on social media and television. She revealed that after her growing popularity, her mom suddenly appeared from nowhere and said how much she regrets about her deed 26 years ago.
Irina is an incredible girl, and it’s not because of her unique appearance, but due to her inner strength and kind heart. She proves that real beauty is inside.