Evita Delmundo was born with moles all over her body, and while she struggled with insecurities and bullying when she was younger, she eventually learned how to love herself for who she was.
The 20-year-old told TODAY Style over email that her moles are what make her unique, and not just physically; she said they give her an inner strength that no one else has.
"I feel like I'm so happy because I can open (other people's) minds and eyes that beauty (doesn't come) from a perfect face or body size," Delmundo wrote from her home in Malaysia.
She recently auditioned for Miss Universe Malaysia 2018 (callbacks will happen at the end of July), and is gaining notoriety for her bold confidence and unique look.
“It's always been a dream for me to try out for Miss Universe Malaysia,” she told Elle Malyasia in a recent interview. “I feel like it's a good way for me to showcase my uniqueness and newfound confidence, and hopefully I can also inspire others.”
When she was younger, Delmundo says kids would call her names like "Monster" or "Chipsmore," adding that it was really tough to swallow as a young girl. It was later on, when she was 16 and attended church camp, that she began accepting herself for who she was and how she looked.
“None of us are born perfect and all of us have our own strengths and weaknesses,” she said. “I just be myself and try to ignore people who stare or make rude comments. I don't think it's necessary to fight back with more negativity. Haters really don't deserve my attention.”
But not everybody is a hater. Delmundo has almost 50,000 Instagram followers and counting, some of whom have told her that she’s their idol or that they look up to her and see her as an inspiration.
“Knowing that I have such a positive effect on others really keeps me going,” she said.
Delmundo did consider removing her moles when she was young. “At first, I really wanted to,” she told Elle Malaysia. “But after seeking advice from doctors, I learned that it could be a risk to my health. So I just had to accept that this is the body I've been given. But now I'm grateful I didn't change anything.”
Her advice to others who might be insecure about their own appearances? “Don't see any of your flaws as a barrier to achieving what you want,” she said. “At the end of the day, everyone has something special about them, so be proud of whatever makes you 'you.'"