Woman who was bullied for having three fingers says she wouldn't change anything
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Growing up can be very difficult sometimes, especially when bullies pick out your differences and use them as an excuse to make your life hell.
Cassidy Laramee, 26, from Massachusetts, was born with a thumb and two fingers on her right hand, an extra thumb and a deformed finger that was later removed on her left hand.
This left her with three digits on each hand, which resulted in kids at school called her a 'T-Rex', but she's now leaned into the dinosaur comparisons, even performing as a DJ under the name, DJ Dino.
Cassidy said: "I was born like this on my right hand, on my left hand, it was deformed.
"I had half a pinky [little finger] and two thumbs. I would have been killer at thumb wrestling but they had it removed when I was a baby.
"I don't really know what fingers I have [now], I know I have thumbs, that's it.
"People always said I have velociraptor hands or T-Rex hands, so I've always tried to roll with the punches."
Cassidy said that people have made so many jokes about her hands over the years that there's not a single potential punchline that she's not heard - in fact, she challenges people to think of a new one.
"In third grade I was bullied out of my school, so we ended up moving and switching schools," she said. "Once I got into a new school system, everyone was really kind to me.
"I've gotten a lot of different things like E.T. or Ninja Turtle, a bunch of different nicknames, and I've kind of just adopted them.
"I always tell people, I'll give you $20 if you tell me a joke I haven't already heard."
But while Cassidy is pretty good humoured about her difference, she admits there was a time when she was reluctant to go to the nail salon because of it.
"The first time I ever got my nails done I was really self-conscious because I have one thumb that's like a toe thumb. It's a big one," she said.
"[The nail tech] joked around and said 'oh I have to use a toenail [extension] for this one' and after that I didn't get my nails done for the longest time because I was just really embarrassed."
However, that all changed when she was given some much-needed body confidence by Megan Fox, who has also admitted to having a toe thumb.
"If Megan Fox can have toe thumbs then so can I. She owns it." Cassidy, who also works a car saleswoman, said.
But, she now regularly gets her nails done, often taking advantage of the 40 percent discount she gets for having just three fingers.
However, Cassidy said she uses the money to tip her nail technicians well because she's a 'little picky' with the designs.
"My hands are already messed up, I at least want my nails to look good," she said.
While she tries to look at the more positive sides, Cassidy added that having three fingers does make certain every day tasks hard.
"Opening anything ever is hard, like pickle jars, bags of chips or doors," she said.
"I have weak wrists, they don't have great mobility, so just opening anything.
'"My hands are a bit achy, and I'm sure eventually they're not going to have the strength that they do [now]. I have early onset arthritis now."
While Cassidy's hands present their own set of challenges, she said that she wouldn't change a thing about them.
"I wouldn't change anything about me for the absolute world.
"Even the hardships that I've been through in my life, they help me become the person that I am today, which is strong and confident.
"There's a lot of people out there who struggle with having confidence, and seeing a role model or seeing someone else be open about who they are really helps."
Topics: Real Life