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A Instagram influencer who chronicles her acne journey online has shared the reality behind airbrushed social media snaps.
Maia Gray, from London, spent years covering her face with makeup after cruel bullies made fun of her appearance in school.
But, now aged 27, she has accepted her skin and is sharing incredible photos of her face to show other acne sufferers they’re not alone.
And for her most recent post, she posted two pictures side by side, one with a filter and one without.
In the picture, with a filter, you can't see her acne.
But in the unedited image, her natural skin care is visible.
She captioned the pictures: "When scrolling, be careful what you compare yourself to. It takes a couple of seconds to change your entire features.
"I’m here to tell you that you don’t need filters to feel beautiful."
The post received over three thousand likes from her fans, with one commenter gushing: “And you’re still beautiful, both sides.
“Honestly it’s nice to know I’m not alone in this! I have scars, pot holes and vitiligo – I wish I had the confidence to just wear no make up!
“Your beauty shines right through.”
And another said: "You're so beautiful and so strong – a real role model."
Recently Maria spoke to Daily Star about how it took her years to love herself after being bullied about her skin when she was at school.
She said: "Acne is something I have struggled with for most of my life.
“When I first started secondary school, I wasn’t self-conscious. It was only until a girl came up to me in an English class and said ‘I would look prettier if I wore makeup’.
“When I got home, I begged my mother to buy me makeup so that I could cover my skin. This later became a necessity and a habit.”
From then on, Maia would wear makeup every single day and would wake up exceptionally early before school to apply it.
During lunch breaks she would re-apply it, causing her to break out even more as she wasn’t giving her skin time to breathe.
The influencer continued: “From wearing makeup in school, I then would wear makeup at home around my family. I would not let any member of my family see my acne.
“As the years went on, I was bullied so much that I considered moving schools. My attendance began to drop as I was constantly being picked on.”
A particularly heart-breaking moment that sticks out for Maia is when she went into the girls' bathroom and saw “Maia is ugly” written on the cubicle wall.
“When I left those negative secondary school memories behind, I slowly decided to work on myself,” she explained.
“It took time but with the support from my family, was able to regain this confidence. This is why I decided to create my acne positivity Instagram page @its_just_acne.
“It was a way to not only push myself out of my comfort zone but a way to be able to help so many others going through the same acne journey.”
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