Carolina Giraldelli had her face painted to match her son’s birthmark, so she could experience what life is like for him for a day. Her son Enzo, one, was born with a dark birthmark covering his forehead and stretching down one side of his nose. He’s young enough not to notice any stares or comments, but Carolina wanted to feel firsthand what her baby experiences. She asked a makeup artist, Elaine Ricci, to replicate Enzo’s birthmark on her face, then went about her day to better understand what her son faces. ‘I confess that for some time it was very difficult to see and feel the eyes of society flickering my son with looks of pity, contempt, scare and sometimes disgust,’ explains Carolina. ‘But even though it is not easy, my husband and I act normally and we will always show him as he is.
‘If someone feels revulsion, curiosity or fear, we try to make him understand that he, despite his mark, is a normal boy who is much loved, just like others. ‘I have never treated him as different – I see him as a normal baby and I want to show him to everyone. ‘I love his birthmark so much; so much so that I wanted, at least for a moment, to have that mark on me too.
‘I wanted to show Enzo this love so I asked my friend who is a makeup artist to create exactly the same look that Enzo has on my face. ‘The make-up and photos were held close to Mother’s Day here, to honour Enzo who is the greatest gift of God that I could ever receive.’ Carolina says that having a version of Enzo’s birthmark on her face was a moving experience – and Enzo was overjoyed too. ‘After the makeup was complete I was very moved because I felt like the most beautiful woman in the world,’ she says. ‘When I got home, Enzo’s reaction was complete joy – even though he did not completely understand. I’m sure he loved my attitude.
‘We took lots of pictures and our morning was a lot of fun. After the photos I went to work with the makeup on. ‘Several people looked at me with many different looks, but I was very calm because I felt like the most proud mother in the world. ‘I kept the makeup on until I went to bed that night, but how I felt has stayed with me every since.’