Tanya Phillips along with her husband, Adam have, over the past few months gotten matching tattoos which look just like their daughter Honey-Rae's large birthmark. Their reason, they are scared that the rest of the public will bully her about the bright red patch all over her right leg, and are setting the foundation for the little girl to feel special about being different. Tanya says about the tattoos;
"Most people might think it’s very extreme but to us it was the natural thing to do to ensure our daughter never felt different or alone in the world. Some people will says it odd, but in our eyes all we have done is ensure Honey-Rae never feels different. Mummy and Daddy now have the same permanent markings as she does."
According to Mirror UK, 18-months-old Honey-Rae was born with the patches on her leg, and the birthmark keeps growing as she does. Tanya said:
"It is bright red and it covers almost half of the right side of her body. It stretches from her toes to her lower back. It hasn’t faded with time. In fact some days, it looks darker than others.’
The caring Mum will never forget the first time she saw Honey-Rae’s birthmark. She recalls:
"She’s struggled to breathe when she was first born and was rushed to the special care unit. When I went to see her she was just lying in a little incubator and that’s when I saw it. It broke my heart.
"I just sobbed and sobbed knowing my baby was going to permanently marked for the rest of her life.
"Like any Mum I didn’t want her to be different. I wanted her to be exactly the same as every other healthy child. And as much as the birthmark isn’t dangerous I knew it could have a huge impact on the rest of her life.
"Although in our eyes she was perfect, I knew other people would cruelly point and stare at her.
"For the first few months of her life, whenever we went out, I made sure her legs were covered up. I couldn’t cope with stranger’s curious glances or whispering comments.
"I didn’t want sympathy or pity or people feeling sorry for Honey-Rae.
"Adam and I decided straight away that we wanted Honey-Rae to feel special, that her birthmark was something to feel proud of and not embarrassed by.
"From the moment she was born, we told Honey-Rae she was beautiful and constantly covered her in kisses."
But last summer, when the youngster was less than a year old, Tanya was out shopping with her little girl, who was dressed in shorts and sandals. She said:
"I was stood at a check out till, when I saw an old couple whispering and staring at Honey-Rae’s leg.
"I was distraught. It was first time I had taken her out without covering her up and it confirmed all my worries and fears. People are cruel without even realising.
"And I knew if adults could be that insensitive, then kids at school would also be unintentionally mean."
It was then Tanya and Adam decided to go the extra mile to ensure their little girl didn’t feel different. Tanya said:
"We had talked about having duplicate tattoos done for a little while but that day my mind was made up.
"We knew we had to do something to ensure Honey-Rae grew up knowing she was very much loved."
For Christmas last year, Tanya paid £80 for her plasterer husband to undergo the two and a half hour tattoo, stretching down his right leg from his thigh to his toe. And last week, Adam returned the favour by paying for Tanya to also be tattooed for her 40th birthday this coming weekend. She said:
"It was incredibly painful, especially as I had a flower to cover some old star tattoos, but it was worth every second of the pain.
"When the swelling went down, I showed Honey-Rae, and she gently touched it and smiled as she said “Match”, pointing to her own leg.
"If I’d have needed any reassurance that I’d made the right decision that was it.
"She now constantly touches mine and Adam’s tattoos then her own birthmark and giggles – I couldn’t be happier.