her Huffington Post blog
, as she was going through photos to take with
her, she realized she had perhaps 10 snaps of herself from her last high school
Natalie Merlo, 18, is getting ready to go to college this
fall. But, she writes on
You see, Natalie has always felt different, and during high
school, she felt that difference keenly. When she was 4, she was diagnosed with
Crouzon Syndrome. Physically, she has large eyes and a lower jaw that jutted
out. She looked…different…and she hated it.
This summer, however, she chose to stand out in another way.
She opted to have a titanium “halo” device attached to her face. The
contraption would move her facial bones forward.
“At first I felt every stare,” she writes. “It was
overwhelming when I thought about how many people had seen me out with my
family or friends and were talking about me. But that got so tiring to worry
about, it made me unable to enjoy what should have been fun times in my final
months at home. So one day, I just let it go.”
Natalie says she took more pictures during the last three
months than she took throughout her senior year of high school. She was not
wilting wallflower or shut in; her most anticipated event was a One Direction
concert she attended with her friends.
While people still stare at her now, during the last weeks
of her wearing the halo, she doesn’t worry about what they think. Instead, she
lives confidently, focusing on having fun and going about her day rather than
what other people are thinking.
Bravo, Natalie, and thank you for sharing a lesson we all
need to learn!
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BY BRITTANY TAYLOR ON 9/22/2013 12:00:00 AM
POSTED IN body image, Love your bod, mind/motivation