When Tanya Phillips saw an old couple whispering and staring at the birthmark on her little girl’s leg as they waited their turn at the checkout line, she and her husband Adam both agreed they were not going to put up with this behavior any longer.
So on her 40th birthday, Tanya went out for a four-hour long tattoo session and got herself a full-leg tattoo that perfectly matched with her daughter’s birthmark. Her husband Adam followed suit.
Their little girl Honey-Rae was born with a strawberry rose birthmark that covered half of her body. “It stretches from her toes to her lower back,” Tanya says. “It hasn’t faded with time. In fact some days, it looks darker than others.”
On the day of Honey-Rae’s delivery, Tanya recalls the little one had difficulty breathing, so she was rushed to a special care unit. As the little girl slept peacefully in the incubator, Tanya saw the marks and understood they were going to face a life of being different, and with it would come the difficulties of misunderstanding and judgement from strangers.
“Although in our eyes she was perfect, I knew other people would cruelly point and stare at her.”
for the first few months, the little girl would always go out with her legs covered. However, that fateful day at the checkout line was what sealed the deal for her parents. They decided to have the tattoos done so that their daughter would not feel different. “We knew we had to do something to ensure Honey-Rae grew up knowing she was very much loved.”
Between Tanya and Adam, the tattoos were a cumulative six hours of pain and endurance, but it all paid off for them: “When the swelling went down, I showed Honey-Rae, and she gently touched it and smiled as she said “Match”, pointing to her own leg.” Tanya shares. “If I’d have needed any reassurance that I’d made the right decision that was it.”
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