With their carefully-curated, perfectly-posed, totally flawless selfies, it's easy to forget that Instagram influencers were once young kids, without the fluttery lashes and dewy highlighter.
But in a candid post, vlogger Farah Dhukai has revealed that online beauty bullies have been sharing an old photo of her as a nine-year-old, and saying impossibly cruel things.
"I’ve seen posts of this pic of me on pages with ppl accusing me of bleaching my skin, multiple surgeries (I’ve only had 1 cuz I couldn’t breathe from my broken nose -septorhino + no fillers), comments calling me ugly + embarrassing etc," Farah shared. "The only embarrassing thing is that some people have the heart to call a CHILD ugly."
In the heartfelt caption, Farah goes on to explain that her complexion was darker as a child because she spent more time outdoors, her hair was thicker because she wasn't allowed to carry out any hair removal, and that, in the photo on the right, she's wearing a blonde wig and blue lenses because 'it's totally OK to have fun with your looks'. YES, GIRL.
The YouTuber also shared her childhood experiences of racism, saying she was 'one of the only coloured kids in school'.
But, being the super honest and inspirational woman she is, Farah concludes: 'I love the skin I’m in! You were made to be you. You were made unique + you should NEVER be afraid to be who you are'.
The post has almost 700k likes, with streams of positive comments. 'You were beautiful then and you're beautiful now, ignore the haters,' said one user, while another confessed: 'I still sometimes feel that I try hard to fit in and fear for comments like these... more power to you'.
Here's hoping Farah's empowering post has taught the bullies a lesson, and they'll think twice before making cruel comments about someone's appearance – especially a young child's.