About this blog

jennyengstrombaron2Welcome to Born Whole!

Hi, I’m Jenny. If you were to come across me on the street, at a party, or perhaps at my kids’ school fair, you might notice something unusual about my face. That’s because I was born with a cleft lip and palate, one of the most common forms of birth anomalies worldwide.

Today I’m a proud ‘cleftie’, but it wasn’t always that way. As a child, I was bullied for my appearance and as an adult, I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety.

Why this blog?

When I started blogging in June 2015, the aim was to raise awareness about what it’s like to live with a facial disfigurement and/or disability.

My core message was – and remains – that we are all born whole, no matter what we look like, how many chromosomes we carry, our physical and intellectual limitations, etc.

Several years later, I remain passionately committed to the original aim and message of my blog and yet world events as well as my experience of raising two strong-willed daughters of mixed heritage, have compelled me to expand the range of topics I blog about.

Far from representing a departure from my initial ideas for this blog, I see the growing range of blog posts as an expansion that falls within the overall concept of born whole, for it’s a concept that is relevant for everyone, not only for people with disfigurements or disabilities.

With the election of Donald Trump, Brexit, and the rise of far-right parties in mainstream European politics, racism, xenophobia and misogyny are becoming normalised. As a result, we find ourselves living in an increasingly unpredictable and frightening world. Borders are closing, and the division between ‘us’ and ‘them’ is becoming sharper.

Born whole says that everyone’s life matters, whatever our nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, appearance and ability.

If we accept that everyone is born whole, then we must also accept that no one’s life is worth more than that of another human being.


3 thoughts on “About this blog

  1. Recniky October 21, 2015 / 10:42 pm

    Jenny, i don’t see any ramifications from a cleft palette. I just see a very beautiful young woman.

    Thank you for stopping by my site (recniky.com) to read the post by my guest blogger. I appreciate it!

    Best, Jo

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Parker J November 15, 2017 / 10:30 pm

    Hi Jenny,

    As with the other commentator, all I see is the picture of a lovely lady.

    I wanted to see if I can request your help with a project I am working but I didn’t want to leave the details here just due to the public nature of the internet. It is a writing project as I am an author but I’d like to discuss it with you in private. My email address in the event you decide to speak with me further is parker at parkerjcole dot com. Please reach out to me at your leisure as it is not a rush.

    If not, I still thank you for your time and will be following your blog from now on.

    Thank you.

    Parker J. Cole


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