‘People call me ugly and say I look like a cartoon character – but I’ve learned to love my facial difference’

Jasmine Reid, a resilient mom with cystic hygroma, faces surgeries, bullying, and pain. Follow her journey on Instagram (@lipstickonjass) as she advocates for self-love and challenges societal stigma
Jasmine Reid now. the brave woman with facial defect known as cystic hygroma or lymphatic malformation.

A brave woman has opened up about the shocking abuse she experiences because of her facial difference.

Jasmine Reid was born with a birth defect known as cystic hygroma or lymphatic malformation which is a collection of fluid-filled sacs – and have seen her undergo 25 surgeries.

The 29-year-old single mum will continue to develop life-threatening cysts on her face and neck for the rest of her life.

Jasmine Reid now. the brave woman with facial defect known as cystic hygroma or lymphatic malformation.
Jasmine Reid now. (Picture: Jam Press)

To make matters worse, Jasmine says she is constantly dealing with trolling, bullying and evil comments from strangers.

“I’ve been told I am ugly, no one would ever want me and I look like a cartoon character,” the North Carolina native told Jam Press.

“[As a child], I was bullied out of high school and had to go to an alternative school.

“As an adult, my social and dating life is so hard, [because] people either treat me like trash or look upon me with pity.

Jasmine Reid as a child
Jasmine Reid as a child. (Picture: Jam Press)

“[And] I’ve had trouble making real friends.

“I can’t work like other people either – even just the air can cause my face to swell.”

Jasmine, who is mum to 10-year-old son named Jadyn who she affectionately calls by his nickname ‘Bug’, says being a mum with a facial difference is “challenging” too.

Jasmine Reid's son Jadyn. the son of the brave woman with facial difference
Jasmine Reid’s son Jadyn. (Picture: Jam Press)

She said: “[Becoming a mum with a facial difference], was hard and challenging, because at first when I gave birth people didn’t believe he was mine.

“[Growing up], Jadyn got teased for the way I looked and I always get nothing but stares.

“I try to limit myself as much as possible far as making a big appearance at school because the kids see him and pick on me

“My biggest [physical] struggle is pain daily; all day, every day.

“When it’s cold, raining or stormy, the air gets into my hemangioma (vascular birthmark), my tongue swells up.

“My face is also very heavy, like a sack of rocks I have to carry around, and I have mental disabilities too.

“I never knew other people had cystic hygroma.

“[But] once I found a few, it made me feel whole.

“Seeing women and men like myself just made me want to do better.”

Jasmine also uses dance to build her confidence and cope with the difficulties she’s faced.

She added: “My mom always kept me in something; whether it was gymnastics, praise dancing, tap, or ballet, I was always dancing.

“Dancing makes me even more confident.

“I dance to feel and I dance to ignore my problems. I dance over my pain.”

Jasmine Reid now. the brave woman with facial defect known as cystic hygroma or lymphatic malformation.
Jasmine Reid now. (Picture: Jam Press)

In an aim to tackle the stigma around cystic hygroma and raise awareness, Jasmine also uses her Instagram (@?lipstickonjass) to share her experiences.

She said: “I wish more people knew how hard my everyday life is.

“Some days I can’t even speak correctly due to my swollen tongue.

“I want to inspire and help others like myself and show people I’m more than just a girl with big cheeks.

“I’m beautiful. I love my appearance and who I am.

“I wish I could tell people like me that it’s our time to shine.

“We’re not hiding anymore. It’s time to embrace our uniqueness.

“You’re beautiful.”

“Stop dimming the light you have.

“Being different doesn’t give people the right to bully you.”

Jasmine also has a message for the people who judge and bully her because of her appearance.

She added: “Stop fearing what you don’t understand and let me educate you.

“I will never forget the things people have done and said to me.

“I don’t feed into the negative energy anymore because I know who I am and how far I’ve come.

“I may not be beautiful to you but I am drop-dead gorgeous to me and that’s what matters.

“You lose.”

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