Marimar Quiroa was born with cystic hygroma, a growth over her mouth that deformed her face, but this has not stopped her from becoming a popular beauty vlogger who’s racked up some nine million views on her YouTube channel. “Before my face and head were bigger, and I went through the process of many surgeries over several years to shrink my face and mouth to what you see today,” she explained in a video, using sign language. “It affects me in several ways. I cannot speak, I breathe through a hole in my throat, I eat through a tube in my stomach, and the hearing in my right ear is diminished.” At 21 years old, the young Californian is enjoying life as a student in beauty school and Zumba instructor. She hopes to become a teacher for the deaf one day.
Quiroa says she has built self-confidence throughout the years by talking to herself in the mirror, telling herself she was beautiful and listing everything she liked about herself. While she has many fans who encourage her, telling her she is beautiful and they love her make-up, she still has to deal with the occasional cruel comment. “I have encountered negative people, both on YouTube and out in my daily life. People tell me I look like a monkey,” Quiroa said. “And people stare at me. I see them staring, I either tell them to stop or just ignore them. But if people are staring at me I stare right back and refuse to look away until they stop staring.” Her definition of beauty is “to accept yourself for who you are, and to ignore what other people tell you,” she added. “You show your beauty how it is, it doesn’t matter if you have a different-looking face. Accept yourself [for] who you are.”
Read the full story at People.