Most people get tattoos to commemorate a special moment or event in their lives. Adam and Tanya Phillips got inked for the best reason of all: unconditional love for their daughter.
As a gift to their their 18-month-old child, Honey-Rae, the couple got duplicate tattoos that looked exactly like her birthmark, to discourage her from feeling different as she got older. The toddler’s skin discoloration is bright red and spans the entire right side of her body, from her lower back down to her toes.
“Most people might think it’s very extreme,” Tanya told the Mirror, “but to us it was the natural thing to do to ensure our daughter never felt different or alone in the world.”
Honey-Rae’s first few moments in the world were difficult. As a newborn infant, she had difficulty breathing and had to be placed in an incubator. It was during her baby’s stint in the special care unit that Tanya first saw the birthmark.
“I just sobbed and sobbed knowing my baby was going to be permanently marked for the rest of her life,” she said. “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.”
Tanya and Adam did everything they could to protect their daughter from judging eyes, by making sure Honey-Rae’s legs were completely covered whenever she went out. During a shopping trip last summer, however, Tanya noticed an elderly couple ogling her daughter’s leg, which was exposed in seasonally appropriate shorts.
“People are cruel without even realizing,” stated Tanya. “[Adam and I] had talked about having duplicate tattoos done for a little while, but that day, my mind was made up.”
Tanya described the inking experience as “incredibly painful,” but Honey-Rae’s reaction to the finished product made it all worth it.
This heartwarming story has been making the social media rounds. There’s tons of support on Twitter for the couple, who are now undoubtedly leading contenders for the Internet’s Parents of the Month.
I appreciate this since I have a birthmark like this too. Caring parents get tattoo of daughter's huge birthmark http://t.co/e3xpPgdxre— Sandra Sookoo (@SandraSookoo) February 27, 2015
Good on the parents getting matching tattoos of their little girls birthmark …As for the trolls having a go at them…You're all sad twats— JOBDONE (@patrickwmhullfc) February 27, 2015