Yulianna Yussef is not like your typical girl. Due to a physical defect she possesses, she’s had to constantly struggle to live a normal life. From hurtful comments to abusive friendships, her life has been a firestorm of emotions enough to make anyone break down. But after coming to terms with a shocking revelation, she did something incredibly brave — and the world couldn’t believe what they saw.
A Serious Medical Condition
Yulianna Yussef was born with an unfortunate condition that her doctors were terrified about when they first saw it. They not only feared that she was in serious danger, but they always worried how it was going to affect her life. How would this influence her friendships? Would she be able to ever get married?
Things were incredibly dark and blurry during this time, and Yulianna’s parents weren’t sure what to do. The hardest part was that at the time, the doctors were quite perplexed by what they were seeing on their daughter’s body. It was an extremely rare illness that they couldn’t do much about — but soon they’d see just how hard Yulianna’s life was about to become.
Keeping Her Sheltered From The Truth
Not long after Yulianna was born, her parents got divorced. Her mother then raised her alone, with the help of a diligent nanny. As a parent, however, she wasn’t taking her daughter’s illness lightly. Yulianna’s mother wanted to do everything she could to make sure her baby was being brought up right. Her way of doing that was by simply acting as though everything was completely normal.
As a result, throughout Yulianna’s formative years she had no idea that she possessed any sort of physical defect. In this way, she was sheltered from the cruelty of the outside world. This can be seen as a good thing — but it also blindsided her when she finally learned the truth.
Ostracized From The Community
It wasn’t until age 8 that Yulianna started to realize she looked different than her peers. Her mother had released her from her sheltered existence, and now the world was getting a good look at her. From the point of view of a young girl who didn’t know any differently, she couldn’t understand why other kids were looking at her funny.
She couldn’t understand why she wasn’t allowed to have playdates with other girls. The truth is that parents wouldn’t let their kids play with her because they thought she was contagious. Therefore, she wasn’t able to maintain friendships in the way she would have liked, and she was made to feel like an outcast. And things only got more painful after that.
Keeping A Low Profile
You can imagine how stressful social pressures became once Yulianna reached high school. The need to fit in certainly weighed on her, and she was already acutely aware of the fact that she looked different from everyone. However, she was able to somewhat hide her condition from her fellow students, pretending she didn’t have it.
But how did she manage to do this? How was this mysterious condition coming to manifest itself? The truth is that Yulianna’s condition was all over her body, and therefore she could never truly hide it. She was able to cover most of it up, but not for long.
An Innocent Day At The Beach
When she was 15 years old, Yulianna bravely decided to go to the beach. There was a special significance to this beach day: she would be wearing a bathing suit out in public, and everyone — truly everyone — would be able to see the extent of her physical condition.
Going out like this was a conscious choice on her part, and deep in her heart she felt like she needed to do it. Why should she not be allowed to be herself in public? Why should she hide herself shamefully just because of how she was born? That’s not how she was going to live her life. And then, the reactions from everyone stuck a knife in her heart.
Shamed By The Public
Right when she’d opened herself up to the world, the harsh reality came crashing down on Yulianna’s hopeful heart. Beachgoers relentlessly gawked at the spots that so nonchalantly graced Yulianna’s skin — from her face, to her legs, and to her torso, where the condition was at its most extreme.
Yulianna recalled that one old woman even decided to approach her, and gave her “advice” on how to remove her birthmarks. There was also a café near the beach, where a few waitresses shot some unkind words at her. “Lots of things like this happened,” she painfully reflected. But that wasn’t even the worst part of it all.
After getting bullied left and right by the people at the beach, Yulianna hoped she’d receive some support from her friend who had come with her. But instead of making her feel better, her friend told her, “Oh my God, Julie! Walking with you is just like walking with a monkey.”
In retrospect, Yulianna said that at the time, she probably just meant it as a joke. But jokes intended to be funny can sometimes cut to the deepest of wounds, and clearly it was an insensitive comment to make, especially at that moment when Yulianna felt most vulnerable. Her friend had no idea what she had just done.
Not Leaving The House
Even though her friend may have meant it as a joke, Yulianna felt downhearted after having been compared to a monkey. If even her friend wouldn’t accept her for who she was, how could she expect everyone else to? In that same summer, she refused to leave home. She isolated herself completely, hellbent on making sure she didn’t feel the same pain she previously felt.
The only time she ever left her house that lonesome summer was for a couple hours at night, where she couldn’t really be seen. Would this nightmare of hers ever end? Would she ever be able to live a regular life proudly?
A Miserable Existence
When Yulianna talks about her life’s story, it seems that this was the lowest point of her formative years. The way she recalled it, “I was a Dalmatian, a giraffe, a cow. I was dirty, people thought that if they spoke to me, my birthmarks would jump at them!”
This type of treatment is the kind that no one should have to endure, and Yulianna bore the brunt of it. It’s not hard to see why she may have locked herself away from months on end. She had put herself out there, and got shut down immediately — so why even bother to try again? However, eventually something deep inside her pushed her to be brave again.
A Strange Interaction
It all happened when she was 18 years old. The day was hot and sunny, and Yulianna desperately wanted to let the sun kiss her body. She wanted her legs to be exposed, and to not have to shamefully hide them away. So she left her house like it was any regular day, trying not to worry about people looking at her.
But while waiting to rent a scooter, she noticed a woman staring at her legs. Right away, familiar feelings of embarrassment came rushing back to Yulianna. She knew this was going to happen; she had predicted it. But then the woman did something that blew her mind.
What Just Happened?
Yulianna assumed that the woman had been staring at her because of the spots on her leg. But the truth is that the woman hadn’t even been looking at the spots! She was actually checking out Yulianna’s turtle tattoo, and even complimented her about it.
This was a turning point in Yulianna’s life, opening up positive avenues of self-confidence she never could’ve anticipated. But what exactly was this disease that mystified the doctors so much? Why was she always so nervous about it, and why couldn’t the world ever stop staring at her? When the true diagnosis came in, people were finally able to understand what was going on.
Yulianna Has CMN
Doctors finally explained that Yulianna suffered from a condition known as congenital melanocytic nevus, or CMN for short. It’s a particular type of birthmark, or mole, that apparently affects an estimated 1% of babies around the world. That being said, Yulianna’s particular case of CMN was a lot more severe than many others, as people were starting to see.
The good news was that it didn’t seem to be posing a threat to her actual health. The main issue throughout her life, rather than a health risk, was the constant bullying she received. Now, all of that was about to change. Step by step, she was starting to gain confidence in herself — but no one could’ve anticipated her next move.
World Turning Upside-Down
Yulianna started to appreciate the power of self-confidence, and how much our thoughts affect our lives. “People will always look at you, but you’ll never know why,” she thoughtfully pointed out on the website LittleThings. “Have you ever thought that they’re looking at you because you are beautiful?”
This mindset would be the catalyst for everything she managed to accomplish after that, and some of her achievements are quite extraordinary. But was everything really that simple? Did she really just have to change her perspective? Or was there something else at play? The truth is that there was another, more practical reason she was able to change her life.
Fatigue From Endless Worry
The truth is that Yulianna was just plain sick and tired. She was exhausted over constantly worrying about needless things. When you’re always wondering whether people on the street are staring at you, it requires a tremendous amount of brainpower that you could be utilizing towards fulfilling other ambitions and tasks.
Eventually Yulianna simply stopped caring about what other people thought, because she knew it would be more prudent to focus that energy on her own life. Soon it became clear just how profoundly she had been holding herself back — and now it was time to excel in all the things in life she was passionate about!
Gaining A Steady Following
Yulianna was finally ready to confidently tell the world her story, and what better place to do that than the social media picture hub Instagram? So she began to post snapshots of herself, revealing her spots and not being shy about them at all. In these posts, she would generally add an inspirational quote to brighten her fans’ day.
It didn’t take long for people to realize there was something special about this girl. She was clearly someone who had suffered from intense pain, and yet came out on the other side as a better person. But even she couldn’t have predicted how popular she eventually would come to be.
An Instagram Sensation
Yulianna had big plans, and she knew that if she could grow her following to be of a substantial enough size, she could truly make a difference in the world. As the years went by, her confidence only grew stronger, and eventually her Instagram started to truly take off as a force in its own right.
She became a social media workhorse, gaining over 109,000 followers who simply love the content she shares with them. From her engaging photos to her insightful words of wisdom, she’s the real deal to them. More than anything, people especially admire the way she’s not afraid to show her spots. In fact, this is all connected to what Yulianna’s true plans are.
Since becoming a new woman, Yulianna has become an ambassador for CMN, spreading awareness about the disease to everyone around the world. The more people know about it, the less it’ll catch people off guard when they see someone with it on the street.
With her newfound social media success, she used her massive platform not only to let everyone know this disease exists, but also to inform everyone that it’s okay to have it and to be seen with it. Yulianna maintains that “it’s about being yourself — finding out how to live with that and become more confident.” So how do her fans really perceive her?
Modern Day Wellness Guru
In addition to the wonderful pictures she shares with her following, so many of her fans have joined her on her life’s journey because they’re committed to the things she says. Yulianna’s path to fame has been incredibly tough, and yet she’s clearly built up a radiant resilience that all of her admirers want a piece of.
Her profile is basically an endless source of inspirational quotes, though perhaps this one in particular was among her most profound: “Never be ashamed of who you are! You have to accept who you are, because if you don’t do it, why should anyone else?” So simple, and yet so true — but that’s not even the best part.
Embracing Everyone’s Love
The best part of Yulianna’s success story with embracing her condition is the incredible feedback she’s received from her fans. Sometimes the very thing that can reassure a person that they’re doing the right thing is hearing from others how much they’ve helped them.
Considering the way Yulianna’s following has been rapidly growing by the day, and the countless declarations of gratitude she’s received from them, it’s safe to say she’s already done some great things in the world. Indeed, she’s literally transformed her entire life for the better. But amidst all this burgeoning positivity, have the insensitive bullies really stopped giving her a hard time?
The truth is that there are still mean-spirited people out there who still make fun of Yulianna for the way she looks. Usually these hurtful comments happen on social media, where her large birthmarks are displayed more clearly. But unlike her coping methods in the past, she’s developed a perfect way to deal with these trolls.
“It’s easy to write something ugly rather than tell it to your eyes. Nobody can offend you when you feel strong and confident.” After everything she’s been through, it’s quite heartwarming to witness the person she is now. We all have our insecurities in life, and seeing what Yulianna did with the hand she was dealt surely shows that we’re all capable of similar feats!
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