- A young lady, 19, had to endure years of negative comments about her dark skin
- However, recognition from Pearl Thusi made her realise her worth
- Today, the beautiful young lady is an upcoming model inspiring other SA girls
By taking a look at Hlali Bele's social media pages, it is clear that the 19-year-old beauty is comfortable in her skin.
However, Bele was not always the confident young woman she is today. Briefly.co.za learned Bele grew up in Guguletu, a township near Cape Town and an informal settlement called KwaLanga.
She was raised by her parents but Bele credited her gogo for "grooming" her into the woman she is today.
During her school years, the stunning young woman had to endure remarks about her dark complexion.
"It started from a very young age in my primary school years," she explained.
Bele said her friend would directly, and indirectly, tease her about her dark skin and it made her struggle with her self-image.
However, about three years ago, Bele started viewing herself in a different light and her life changed when a local celebrity complemented her beauty.
Bele revealed Pearl Thusi shared a picture of her on her Instagram story and captioned it: "Beautiful."
"From that day, I was like never shall I live in a cocoon again!" Bele said.
Since then she changed her opinion about herself and Bele realised her worth, and beauty is not based on the opinions of others.
"I am beautiful beyond! I am not defined by people's views because I am more than that. I am golden, and I am carrying a heavy gift within me. Most importantly, I am now comfortable in my own skin," she said.
Bele has since starred in fashion shows and collaborated with make-up artists. She has also become an influencer on social media and is building herself a following online.
Apart from making a success in the fashion industry, she hopes to inspire other young South African women struggling with their confidence.
"My advice to other girls struggling would be: Accepting yourself is the first step into becoming! You're solid gold, dripping gold and no none can steal that from you. So because you're gold, use that to bloom and take your shine. Never in a million years let people make you feel bad in your own skin. Get out of that cocoon, beautiful," she said.
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