Because of social media, we often see pictures of people who seem to have perfect looks. It seems like society cares a lot about how people look.
When strangers judge someone just by how they look on social media, it can be really tough, especially for those of us who don’t fit the idea of “perfect.”
Karine de Souza knows this more than anyone. She’s from Brazil and has a skin condition that makes her use strong sunscreen all the time, even indoors. She’s faced challenges because of how she looks.
The 33-year-old has a rare condition called Xeroderma Pigmentosum, which makes her at high risk for getting skin cancer.
This “one-in-a-million” condition can’t be cured. It makes her super sensitive to sunlight because her skin can’t fix any damage the sun does. Even a short time in the sun can give her a really painful sunburn. When she was growing up, she couldn’t spend much time outside because it was too risky for her health.
“When I go out in the sun, I don’t feel anything at that moment. But later on, I get sores that can turn into cancer, and I have to get them removed,” she explains.
Karine has had 130 surgeries, including removing part of her lower lip and nose, to get rid of sores caused by the sun.
But it’s not just a physical battle for her. When she walks down the street, people sometimes give her strange looks, and she has to deal with mean comments both online and offline.
Even with all the challenges, Karine has found love and stays positive.
She met her husband, Edmilson, on social media. He was touched by her “story and strength” and fell in love with her. Edmilson has always supported Karine, and he knew he wanted to be with her forever.
He also decided to love and care for Karine’s three kids from her past relationship, and that meant a lot to Karine.
“He came into my life and showed me that I could have a real love story,” she said.
But when she shared pictures of them online, people made hurtful comments again.
“I’ve read comments calling me a monster, deformed, even a zombie,” Karine shared, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Some comments said their relationship wasn’t real and that she must be rich and taking care of him like a “sugar mommy.”
“People didn’t believe he genuinely liked me because he’s young and good-looking,” Karine explained.
A photographer took pictures of the couple after they got engaged and shared them online. He wrote:
“In a world where how you look matters a lot, they didn’t meet by chance. It was like their souls found each other, accepting each other for who they are. Love grew when their souls connected, and now you inspire many people who may not believe in themselves, in life, and especially in love.
“THANK YOU every day for being yourselves. STOP complaining about who you are. Embrace life and accept yourself. I’m so grateful for all the lessons you’ve taught me. You guys are AMAZING. You bring hope to so many. Thanks for the warm hug and the wonderful day we shared. Your smiles stay with me forever.”
His kind words and the beautiful pictures he took of Karine and Edmilson became really popular, and thousands of people commented to congratulate the couple.
Karine wants others to realize the importance of being positive.
”Be happy, smile, because life happens only once,” she said.
Karine and Edmlson were overjoyed to welcome a baby girl into the world in 2023. Zaia was a long-awaited addition to their family because Karine and her husband had been trying to conceive since 2020.
Karine has gone through a lot, but her optimistic outlook has helped her find the happiness she deserves.
Share this story with your friends and family to help us encourage others in similar circumstances. Her story is motivational.