Cruel bullies taunted me calling me 'pig nose' but I've learnt to love my special features – I'm beautiful | The Sun

A WOMAN who was cruelly taunted for her nose has learned to embrace her special features.

Joanne Charlton, 24, Huddersfield, was called “pig nose” in the school corridors by bullies.

Eventually, due to the abuse, she stopped going to school altogether. 

She says: “Growing up I suffered years of abuse by school bullies who blighted my life. 

“They called me ‘pig nose’ and ‘no nose’. It was awful. 

“I barely left the house – worried what people would say. 

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“But I no longer care what people think and I finally feel confident in my own skin. I want to encourage others with facial differences to feel that too.” 

Joanne was born with a cleft nose, when the nose is split into two halves.

The condition occurs early in pregnancy, when the two halves of the head do not join together as they should.

As a youngster, Joanne was aware that she looked different to other children.  

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The business and marketing graduate says: “My parents used to tell me I had a ‘special nose’.  

“While children sometimes stared at me, I didn’t let it affect me and was a happy child.  

“I loved performance and dancing.”  

A facial cleft may cause some symptoms such as affecting breathing, and surgeons tend to start surgeries at a young age. 

From the age of six months, Joanne underwent multiple corrective plastic surgeries to improve the appearance of her nose. 

But when it was time to go to secondary school, Joanne, then aged 11, was reluctant to attend. 

Joanne says: “I was scared of being bullied. I knew there would be children there that were much older than me.”  

But the bullying that Joanne experienced was far worse than what she ever imagined.  

She remembers: “When I walked down corridors, students would stare at me and call me nasty names like ‘pig nose’ and ‘no nose’.  

“It hurt that they said such awful things, when my condition isn’t my fault. All I wanted was to fit in.”  

Joanne’s confidence started to plummet and eventually, by aged 14, she started skipping school. 

When anxiety symptoms kicked in, she stopped going out on her own in public. 

Thankfully, Joanne still managed to pass all her GCSE’s and went to college to study health and social care.  

But her fellow students continued to call her names, so she moved colleges and studied business.  

Joanne says: “I decided to put all my energy into doing well in my education.  

“Nothing was going to stop me from achieving my goals.”  

After college, in July 2018, aged 18, Joanne had her sixth surgery which left her with new scars and a dent in her nose.  

Despite this, she was happy with the results – until another bully commented on her looks.

Joanne says: “One night, I went out with friends, and a stranger told me my nose looked broken. 

“Because of that, I decided to have another surgery a year later, to correct the scarring.  

“That changed my appearance massively, and thankfully, no one ever bullied me again.”  

Joanne’s confidence began to improve from the age of 20, when she went to the University of Huddersfield to study business and marketing.  

Joanne says: “It was there that I decided not to have any more surgeries. I’d had seven over the years. 

“My appearance wasn't the most important thing about me, compared to my intelligence and compassion towards others.”  

Now, Joanne doesn’t hesitate to go out in public, and loves going out with her boyfriend and to concerts with friends.   

If people are ever curious about her appearance, she’s much more comfortable talking about it and just explains her condition. 

Joanne says: “I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.  

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“I no longer care about what people think about me and embrace my facial difference. I want others to do the same. 

“Beauty is skin deep and that’s what matters.” 

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