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One of the many struggles of being a photographer is approaching people.

For me it becomes nerve-wrecking because it’s almost like asking someone on a date. What do you say? What if they say no? Will they think I’m a creep? However my husband made a good point and said if you don’t ask and you don’t try, you’ll never know.

This is how I met an amazing young woman named Nicole Rjeili.

Nicole is a Yoga Instructor who was born with a skin deficiency that caused her to have a permanent scar on her face. Beauty has been the main focus for women of all ages. Normally, having anything on your skin that is “different” (whatever that means) is not considered to be beautiful and is a sign that you need to change.

I see it all the time with cosmetic commercials, beauty products and acne brands. However when I first met Nicole, she didn’t portray low self esteem or shame at all. In fact it was the exact opposite.

She just exuded happiness, confidence and beauty so effortlessly!

(click on gallery below):

When I asked Nicole about her scar and if she ever felt insecure about her appearance, her response was sublime:

“Many of my friends tell me that I look more beautiful with it. And in a way it helps me weed out people who just stare at me and think that I’m not beautiful verses people who are genuine and see me for myself. I’m proud of who I am.”

To Nicole, I salute you! Thank you for reminding women that there is no such thing as one type of beauty. Beauty can come in all forms, shapes, sizes, colors, the list can go on.

If there is anything that you can take from this – it’s to shine on and embrace your differences. At least that is what I learned.

Now it’s your turn: In what way to you accept your natural beauty? Please let me know in the comments below. Also if you like this post, share it with your friends, family, and on social media!

If you have a story to tell or you’re interested in being featured in the Spotlight series, email me at info@kpatino.com.

Til next time,

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