HER birthmarks on chest, neck, back and arm make her “look like a leopard” – and to 12-year-old Edith Bliss, they are what makes her unique.

The schoolgirl from Brighton was born with the rare birthmarks, which grew as she grew and are untreatable.

“I do like looking different because it makes me unique and special,” said Edith, who has a twin brother, Albert.

“People do look but I don’t get offended or nervous.

“I feel confident and positive and can cope very well with stares.”

Edith, a pupil at Varndean School in Brighton, is “very excited” this week because her photograph has gone on display in an exhibition called How Do You C Me Now? at Oxo Tower Wharf in London.

She is one of three people from Brighton and Hove who are among 30 adults and children from 13 countries in five continents to be photographed for a unique series of images by world renowned photographer Brock Elbank.

They all have congenital melanocytic navae (CMN), which are brown or black moles covering up to 80 per cent of the body.

The exhibition is a “celebration of beauty that’s more than skin deep” designed to make people consider their perceptions of people with a visible difference.

It is a partnership between the photographer and Caring Matters Now, the only UK charity providing support for people with the potentially life-threatening condition, to raise awareness.

Many of the people photographed for the series have never revealed their birthmarks publicly before.

The charity’s spokeswoman Lucy Hardwidge explained: “People with CMN often feel isolated due to the rarity of the condition and have to deal with negative comments because of their visible difference, resulting in low self-esteem.

“How Do You C Me Now? aims not only to improve the self-esteem of children and adults affected by CMN, but also to encourage the public to consider how living with visible differences can add to beauty rather than detract from it.

“The series aims to give a clear message to the world – to love the skin you are in.”

The charity, which funds CMN research at Great Ormond Street Hospital, contacted Elbank three years ago to take the pictures after the London-based photographer produced a series of 150 images to capture the unique beauty of people with freckles.

A member of the charity’s staff realised that one of the subjects had CMN.

Among the people photographed for How Do You C Me Now? is Brighton man Alkin Emirali, who was born with some prominent moles on his face that have proliferated during his life.

The 48-year-old senior lecturer at Brighton Film School, who is also a screenwriter and director, wanted to take part because it helps to “normalise” the condition.

“Anything that normalises visible differences has got to be a good thing,” said Alkin, who lives with his partner Heidi Watts and their nine-year-old daughter Beba in Hove.

“Until I was 39, I didn’t see anyone else with this condition.

“Then, when we were going to have our child, I wanted to know if it was hereditary.

“I started to do some research and found Caring Matters Now.

“That’s how I found out for the first time that there were other people who looked like me.

“It was life-affirming for me and so I want to help do the same for other people.

“Growing up, I had a blast and it was only when I got to my teens, when I started thinking about girls, that it was the cause of some anxiety.

“But it wasn’t a problem. In retrospect, I had developed good coping mechanisms, so I had better social skills than my peers, which gave me confidence. And confidence begets confidence.

“My visible difference has defined who I have become on every level, and since I like who I am, I guess I wouldn’t change anything.

“Everybody has something that makes them different – I just wear mine.”

Edith started to realise that people were noticing her birthmarks, which are not dangerous, about two years ago, according to her mother Kerry. “I just told her that people are curious,” she told The Argus. “She has just started at secondary school and I worry because I don’t know what it will be like for her in summer when she will be wearing short sleeves in school. I wanted her to be photographed for this exhibition because it will raise awareness.”

Edith said: “People at school have been interested and curious and I just tell them it’s a rare birthmark.

“They have been really nice about it.”

How Do You C Me Now? by Brock Elbank in partnership with Caring Matters Now is at Oxo Tower Wharf, Bargehouse Street, South Bank, London, until Sunday. It is open daily, with free admission. Visit caringmattersnow.co.uk and oxotower.co.uk to find out more.