Mother speaks out to change perception of her daughter's facial birthmark

The mother of a baby girl with a very distinctive birthmark is speaking out to help change people's perceptions of those who look a little different.

Charlie Crenshaw is 6-months-old. She's vibrant and has a beautiful smile, but when people first see her they don't always notice that. Instead, they see her large birthmark, and ask, "What's wrong with her face?"

According to Charlie's mom, Katie Mullis Crenshaw, Charlies was born with a capillary hemangioma that doctors have deemed cosmetic. It's also called a "strawberry mark."

According to the Huffington Post, Charlie has gone to specialists and takes medication daily so the mark does not grow any larger or obstruct her vision.

Hemangiomas have no known cause or prevention options, according to the Huffington Post. Katie says that they tend to "involute or disappear eventually," as she wrote in an entry on her blog.

She also posted a response to strangers, friends, and family who mention Charlie's hemangioma.

"We don't need to talk about it every time you look at her. We see past the color of her face. Charlie is Charlie and it's part of who she is. It doesn't need to be constantly commented on, critiqued, or questioned. While I don't mind educating curious minds, I don't need your opinion on how it its progress [sic] or the affect [sic] it may have on her. It's a part of her unique beauty. It may never disappear, and guess what? It doesn't have to. I would much rather chat about her latest milestone achievement, her amazing smile, or how gorgeous her eyes are."

Katie posts many pictures of Charlie on Instagram, and the Huffington Post reports that she hopes the images will serve to change people's perceptions of both Charlie and others who look a little different.

"I would like to normalize 'differences' in appearances," Katie told the Huffington Post, adding, "People tend to immediately pity people who look different and I would like to change that conversation."

Instead of feeling sorry for her, Katie hopes that people can get to know Charlie for her true self.

"Her personality is dynamic," Katie told the Huffington Post. "Everyone she meets comments on her piercing eyes, or that she seems like an old soul that understands much more than we think. She is extremely motivated and is already crawling and trying to stand."

Katie also said that she received some criticism based in misunderstandings after sharing her daughter's story. She decided to clear those up.

"I don't feel I am doing her an injustice by not having it cosmetically removed to protect her from bullies," Katie explained. "As a child, I was bullied, and I had nothing wrong with me. I think to protect our children from bullies we should instill confidence and values in who they are, the way they were made."

"No one wants their child to be picked on, but children can be ruthless," she continued. "They will pick on kids for their name, their brand of shoes, or the way they talk. It's just something that may or may not happen."

Katie told the Huffington Post that she and her family are open to answering questions about Charlie's hemangioma and understand their concern and compassion.

"We just hope to educate people on our perspective and perhaps challenge them to think about the way they think and the words they say," she told the media outlet.

But despite some negativity, Katie said that she has also received many positive emails from parents of children with hemangiomas and adults who had them when they were children.

Katie wrote in her blog post, "Hold the pity. She's a healthy baby girl and we are blessed. Her hemangioma is just as insignificant to who she is as a freckle on her arm. You don't need to mention it, and you don't need to wish it away."