In a world plagued by unrealistic beauty standards, some cannot even imagine how Cassidy Hooper, who was born in 1996 without either eyes or a nose, copes.
And although it's been hard for her, she doesn't just cope, she thrives.
"If you have challenges, be positive about it," she says to others with disabilities, ABC News reports.
"Things always may be hard, but I don't need easy, I just need possible," added the hardworking and bright young woman, reflecting her extraordinarily positive outlook on life.
Doctors were baffled by the otherwise healthy baby's defects, having no way to explain how such a condition could come about, Little Things reports.
For Hooper, however, the defects didn't stop her from living a full life.
"She's very outgoing," said her mother. "Whenever we go anywhere, she says, 'Put me by the pool and I'll go make friends.' She loves to talk and is very, very self-confident."
But she has had to face teasing from others.
"If somebody says something, I try not to let it bother me," Hooper told WBTV.
Hooper was enrolled in a special school for blind children in North Carolina, where she didn't have to face negative comments.
"Mom, everyone here is blind, so I'm normal," she had said to her mother, Susan.
But as the teen years approached, she yearned for the facial features others have.
At age 11, she asked her parents for a nose. Although expensive, her parents said her happiness was more important.
"This is Cassidy’s choice," they said. "It’s what she wants. We think she’s perfect the way she is."
So in addition to cheerleading, sports, playing musical instruments, holding down a job and being a "technological guru," Hooper spent her high school years undergoing a series of surgeries.
Using bone from her ribs and skin from her forehead, doctors constructed Hooper's first nose.
"I'll have a real nose like everyone else's," she said excitedly before the surgery.
These days not only does Hooper, 19, have a nose, she also has a high school diploma. She is starting college, hoping to major in mass communication and broadcasting.
Doctors will soon add prosthetic eyes and move her eye sockets closer together.