Lauren was horrified to see the photography studio had edited out Lexi’s birthmark. Photo: SWNS
By: Alison Coldridge
Lauren Holsten was outraged when a photography studio Photoshopped images of her 18-month-old daughter, Lexi, so that her birthmark wasn’t visible.
Lauren, 20, took Lexi to have a photo taken at a professional photo stand in The Forum shopping centre in Kent and upon collecting the snapshots a fortnight later was dismayed to find that the pics had been edited to remove Lexi’s birthmark.
The toddler has a strawberry mark (or harmangioma) on her right cheek, which is a surprisingly common birthmark – and one that tends to disappear on its own. The raised, soft lump is made up of extra blood vessels and affects around one in 10 babies.
They can crop up anywhere on the body, but most commonly appear on the face, head and neck. Birthmarks like this tend to appear on newborns and grow to their maximum size by around the time the child’s nine months old. Most do disappear on their own, but can take anywhere between two and 10 years to do so.
Lauren admits she was really upset when she noticed what the company, Domingo Portrait, had done to the pics and says that the company she usually uses to take photos of Lexi had never offered to airbrush out the birthmark. “Even if they had, I wouldn’t have it done because it wouldn’t look like her,” says Lauren.
Lexi has a strawberry birthmark on her right cheek. Photo: SWNS
She says she’s most angry that the company might make Lexi feel self-conscious as she gets older. “It’s like that photography company was saying she’s not perfect and she is just 18 months-old. It needs to change.”
The mum says the photography studio refused to apologise, saying that the shop assistant “thought it was a ‘cut’, which it obviously wasn’t.”
The company has since apologised to Lauren and her family and said that they’ve now changed their policy.
“We did not know it was a birthmark first of all. We airbrush the pictures. Any customers who don’t want their picture airbrushing, they let us know. She should have told the photographer it was a birthmark and she didn’t want it airbrushed.
“We have already changed our policy. We are going to make sure we ask parent about birthmarks.”
Around 80 per cent of birthmarks don’t require treatment, but if your child has one it’s always worth getting a GP to check it out.
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