Maria, a college student in London, writes, “I have been facing this problem since I became self-conscious at the age of 15. I had a wonderful life before 15 without any self-image problem. Looks suddenly became an issue when I entered college. It’s not that I faced any difficulties from people during college life, but I become more aware and more understanding of things that happened around me. So here is the secret. I have a big mole with bits of hair growing out from it on one side of my cheek. It has been with me since I was born. I had no problem with it when I was growing up or should I say, I was not even aware that I had it on my face. When I turned 15, I realized that I had it. I have tried to cover it up with my hair since then. I used to have short hair but now I simple don’t dare cut my hair short. I have asked my friends from college about what they thought of my mole and they replied that their first impressions was that “Oh, she’s got a big mole,” and that’s all. I completely understand that I am different but I continue to use my hair to cover it. Sometimes it is too hot for me to wear my hair like this but I never have the courage to tie up my hair.”
Things just don’t end there for Maria. She continues, “This has also affected my relationships. During college, there was a boy that confessed to me that he liked me and wanted to be in a relationship, but I appeared to be “Sorry, I’m not ready for anything serious.” I was scared to accept his proposal because he has never seen my mole before. Since I have low self esteem I did not believe that he truly liked me. There were other prettier girls on the campus and I had known him for less than three months but I was happy because he was quite good looking. When I told my sister who knows about my problem, she said go for it. I told her that I was scared because he had absolutely no idea about my mole. My sister advised me to tell him about my fear and see how he reacts but I never did. I can’t overcome my own fear of letting people know about my mole, especially boys, and so I rejected him. That was when I was 19 years old. We keep in touch and he still is not aware of it. Now I am 21 years old but I still can’t overcome the fear and live with my hair covering my face. I am very upset, depressed and angry with myself. I hate myself because whenever I go out, I have to wash my hair because it sometimes doesn’t let down in a way that it can cover the mole. I also hate myself, because when it is windy, which it always is where I live, I have to use my hands to stop my hair from moving. This is terrible and stupid. I know it but I can’t help it. My sister told me I am the only person who can help myself. I am desperate to get out of this life. I want to be free, live without fear. I have never told my parents about it.”
Maria adds her final thoughts, “There are a few men who have showed interest in me over the past two years though I don’t really like them. And because of the mole, I become very shy when I see boys that I like come and talk to me or when they approach me. I become very quiet and become the person that is not me. I was thinking to go to psychologist and my sister said that this is something very simple that can be solved by myself. I am scared that I will never be wanted by any guys and people on the street will always stare at me as if I come from another planet. I have never been in love and I can’t wait to fall in love though I know love can wait. It is this fear that I need to overcome as I am approaching the stage where I will step into the working world where I will need to meet people. Hope you can help me.”
What appears to be such a simple problem has consumed Maria’s life. In fact it appears that she has lost so many years of her life that she could have enjoyed like any other regular person. She considers her mole to be so bad looking that basically no one else has seen it for last five years. Here is what Maria (and anyone else who is in a similar situation) should do:
- Since you seem to have self-esteem problems associated with this mole, you should wait to see how you feel once the doctor has taken your mole away. If you feel wonderful, nothing to worry. If not, you must meet with a therapist and seek her help to work on your insecurities, boost your self esteem, and build your confidence.
- Either learn to live with what you don’t like (and be happy with it) or do something about it. In case of a mole, you can simply go to a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon and ask her/him to take it off. Only a doctor can tell you how to take it off, if it is a good idea, what your options are, and how much it will cost, but I know that laser technology for mole removal will eliminate it completely and you will look like any other woman within a matter of weeks.
- It is also wrong to think that our deficiencies make us unattractive to others. In fact we are often attracted to people who have something different about them. So never assume anything and let things play out.
- No one is perfect, including models and movie stars. You only have a small mole but have you thought of women who are missing a body part or who need to have surgery after cancer or a million other examples of sick people. They all try to live their lives the best way they can and so should you.