Mother Furious Over Airbrushed Toddler Photo Is Right


From the age of about .01, little girls are praised for their beauty. People call out their eyes, their hair, their "rosebud lips." They do the same for baby boys, but not in the same way. And by age 2 or so, it's all they say. Even my own kids know it. My daughter is "beautiful," she says, but my son is not.

"Boys can't be 'beautiful,'" my 3.5-year-old tells me all the time.

So I can understand why the mother of a preschooler is furious over the airbrushing of a nursery school photo that eliminated her 2-year-old daughter's port-wine stain birthmark in the middle of her face. The birthmark is large, but her mother doesn't think it makes her daughter any less beautiful. And she's right.

Though the photographer says a clerical error caused the mix-up and has apologized profusely, the mother remains unconvinced. She says:

Where does it stop? If one of the kids had wonky teeth, would he have altered them to make them 'perfect'? It’s not up to him to play God. There are enough worries about the prejudices she may endure later in life without having to worry about adult male photographers, especially when she’s just two years old.

She has a point. Even if he didn't mean to do so, he sent a message to the little girl that she wasn't lovely enough on her own, that she needed to be altered to conform. It isn't a small mistake.

Omnee (the little girl) is lucky to have a mother who will go to bat for her. As a mom, my guess is I would have a birthmark on my child removed and maybe I should be ashamed to say that. Maybe it's society that needs to change and not the little girl who only wanted a nursery school photo. 

Looking at both photos on the Daily Mail site, the birthmark doesn't make Omnee any less lovely. Her mother is right. And the way we come to accept that isn't going to be through airbrushing. It's through looking at the truth and accepting that. This little girl was born with a bit of red splotching on her face and she is still beautiful. That is the end of the story.

Would you be angry if you were the mom?


Image via aussiegall/Flickr

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Rhond... RhondaVeggie

It probably was a mix up. Our school photographer charges a pretty penny for touch ups and I really don't see them throwing it in for free.

Lynette Lynette

maybe he didn't relise it was a birthmark.  Maybe he thought it was a ink, paint, marker stain(you know the kind that comes off after a few baths).  Just trying to give the benefit of the doubt. 

But yes if as a mother I would be upset if a birthmark was photoshoped out.  I am sure this mother is sensitive about the mark her daughter has. so that would just make her reaction all the more.

mama2... mama2allblue

I would have accepted the apology and the free print and called it a day  The stink the mother is making makes me think SHE is not as comfortable w/ the birthmark as she says she is, ever hear the saying "thou doth protest too much"? The photographer said it was a MISTAKE, he never said she was imperfect, her mother is afraid she is going to face issues later in life and brought her OWN ISSUES into the mix up. Human are fallible, simple as that. This child would have never even known about the issue if the mother hadn't taken it to the papers, I don't know what she is seeking here but it seems to me she is causing an issue that may hurt her own child by making a huge stink. The man cannot go back in time...sheesh

Mommy... MommyOfOne2710

When I used to get pictures done, they would automatically "retouch" them. It was pretty annoying, because when I got my pictures back it didn't look much like me. I would definitely be upset. And if he's a professional photographer, he shouldn't be making mistakes like that.

nonmember avatar fhc

I would accept the apology and move on. I'd use this as a tool to teach my daughter about life. Yes it would hurt, but stuff happens.

douxm... douxmusique

I see it as an honest mistake. In the linked article, the birth mark doesn't look like a birthmark, it looks like marker or frosting coloring left over. 

but seriously, lets be honest. When she grows up, she may accept that she has a birthmark like that but she's most likely not going to be super proud of it. It's natural, its who she is, yep. But I have a fuzzy face. It's natural, its who I am, but I don't exactly love it, and I do everything I can to hide it and pretend it doesn't exist.

Mom over reacted.

white... whitebreads

Not a big deal. Accept the apology and move on. Simple.

Eques... EquestrianMom

Yeah, I'd accept the apology and move on, unless my dd was terribly upset over it. Otherwise, it was a mix up, or thats all my daughter would need to know. 

Ashme... Ashmelissa

As a mom with an infant who has a similar port wine stain on her face (and more on her body) I would be upset they altered what she looks like. I want my daughter accepted for who she is, her birthmarks make her unique...she is beautiful to me and all those who know her. By photoshopping out part of her features we are telling this little girl that we are ashamed of her appearance and she should be as well. In ten years, if she chooses to have her birthmark lasered, it will be done... but until then I'll be a proud mama of how she looks! The only reason to have it removed would be because of how other people see her face or treat her because of her marks...why not teach these kids they are perfect just the way they are! After months of MRIs, doctors, and eye exams, I'm happy she doesn't have anything wrong internally (as can be the case with these)!

jlynx0 jlynx0

The mom did overreact. Because I can still see the damn birthmark! It's right over the childs lip. It was partially removed. But, not fully. I'd accept the apology and get on with my life.

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