U.K.-based beauty photoblogger Ryley Isaac is destigmatizing the shame around her birthmark through make-up tutorials and glamorous selfies. Isaac learned to love her birthmark after receiving praise from photos she’d post on social media.
“I felt comfortable in myself more once I had started posting pictures with my birthmark out on instagram,” said the 18-year-old Instagram/TikTok star. “I saw the surge of positivity and compliments that came with it, and for once I could finally say, ‘I am beautiful in my own way.”
She continued to open up about embracing the unique birthmark that makes her beauty shine bright.
“It was almost like a secret was out for the world to see, it was liberating for me to be honest. After I started uploading more and more content I realized I was helping lots of people on a mass scale.”
Now, Ryley Isaac is a super confident influencer with hopes that using her platform will uplift positive messaging for those who may have ever struggled with negative body imaging or lack of self-love or self-esteem.
“I used to have very low confidence, mainly in year nine at secondary school and felt my birthmark was holding me back from meeting and socializing with new people,” Isaac admits to HelloBeautiful. She continues to explain her worrisome nature about what others thought about her, but has now blossomed into the mindset that her birthmark is her feature that makes her different in a beautiful way. “ Now I have realized that apart from my appearance I am exactly the same as everyone else! Even when questioned, I enjoy telling people about my birthmark [because] I feel like I’m educating them. It’s surprising how many people do not know what a basic birthmark is, let alone a port wine birthmark.”
Issac learned to see herself as beautiful by defining beauty for herself. “I would define beauty as someone who loves themselves naturally and embraces their natural self however they want or feel in a way that makes them happy! In my eyes, there are no standards in the world of beauty. We are all beautiful in our own unique way.”
As a biracial woman, she struggled with her identity. “In my school year, there were a minority of biracial and Black children – not saying it was the schools fault for that, but that’s just how it was and in a way, it pressured me to act or try to look a certain way to fit in with everyone. The popular kids, you know how it is. This feeling of needing to fit in was in around years 8 to 10 when I wasn’t strong enough to be independent, embrace my culture and not care what people think. Instead I would constantly straighten and damage my now beautiful curls, talk, dress, act in a different way, which upsets me because no one should ever have to do that. Love and embrace who YOU are. Towards the end of school, I really started focusing on self-love and finding out who I really was. This was the time I really started posting to my Instagram page, and ever since, I stopped caring what people thought I now act however I want, making my own choices, loving my culture, and it’s the happiest I’ve been since.