Lu Dorini, 41, was born with a rare disorder called hemangioma, also known as arteriovenous malformation. AVM, as the disorder is often abbreviated, is a benign vascular tumor that results in a tangled network of veins. In Lu’s case, 4 arteries feed the growth, so removing the tumor would be life-threatening. Lu has undergone as many as 19 surgeries in her lifetime, but because the risks would make removing the tumor almost impossible, she has learned to accept herself as she is.
At first, she was reluctant to talk about it because she wanted people to know her for who she was and to love her for who she was, rather than seeing her as different. But then she decided to end her silence and created a blog that now has 72,000 followers worldwide.
At first, she was disheartened by the negative comments and confesses that she often cried about them, but then she realized that these people did not really matter and represented a very small part of the world. Since then, she has been happy to stand in front of the camera, and she does not hide her vasodilatation, because it is part of her, and she is proud of it.
People often ask her when she started to accept herself, and she responds that she has always loved herself. “Self-esteem is like a flower that needs to be watered and nourished every day. And I do it all the time.” – says the Brazilian girl.
The professional make-up artist and photographer she often works with also see her as a strong and dynamic character and say that they love everything about her, from the positive energy she exudes to her courage and her unwavering self-confidence.
“Lu is a master in self-esteem, courage and self-knowledge. It’s fun to photograph Lu because she is pure joy.” – says her photographer, Marcel.
“For people with difficulties with their self-esteem the first thing is: don’t compare yourself. To me, self-love is the key. It’s the key to happiness. To me, beauty is not blue eyes and long hair. To me, beauty is much bigger than that.” – says Lu.