When Breanne Rice reached the age of 19, she was diagnosed with a rare skin condition, vitiligo.
She explains that this “is an autoimmune disease where your body essentially attacks its skin's pigment, and leaves you having random loss of skin colour in blotches."
Beginning as a small, white patch underneath her left eye, the vitiligo was, at first, easy to cover up – something which, as a young model, Breanne felt she had to do to save her career.
But, as the years progressed, the model’s food allergies increased and her stress levels went up. As a result, she lost more and more pigment in her face, leaving her completely devastated.
“I would look in the mirror every day and start crying, and I wouldn't leave the house without makeup,” she said.
But, now in her 30s, Breanne has decided to embrace herself in her own skin, completely and utterly.
Taking to Instagram, the model shared a photograph of herself without makeup on, which was a bold and beautiful gesture in itself.
However it was the powerful message she penned alongside the image that really got people talking.
It read: "The biggest change has been my mindset. Don't let your circumstances define you, but use them to inspire you to grow and help others. I don't let the fact that I don't have perfect skin define my self-worth or validate whether I am beautiful or not.
“Love yourself, and all of your flaws. They make you YOU, and no one can be YOU."
As Breanne explained in subsequent posts, her journey to self-acceptance has not been an easy one; she used to spend hours applying thick concealer and foundation to her skin each day.
When she did leave her skin bare, she said, she was overwhelmed by her appearance and used to spend hours crying at her reflection.
She wrote: “It's taken me a very long time to be able to go public with this, and to walk around publicly without any makeup.
“Why? Because it's my face.”
She continued: “Although I would like to say I am super confident and it never gets to me, sometimes it does. Some days people make comments saying ‘what happened to your face?’
“Sometimes if I have a crush on someone I am worried about them seeing me without makeup and worry that they won't think I'm cute.”
Despite all of this, Breanne has found self-love with age – and she has asked everyone to challenge their preconceptions of beauty.
“You know what though,” she said. “I own [this face]. There's not much I can do about it. I can only love myself, and not let my circumstances define my value or self-worth.
“What is the definition of beautiful anyway? Is it being perfect? What do you see when you look in the mirror?
“Perhaps you have a circumstance or something about yourself that you are insecure about. Don't let it define you. You deserve love, and you are beautiful.”
Breanne, who is now working as a nutritional therapy practitioner in Seattle, has been blown away by the public’s reaction to her posts.
She told People.com: “It really spoke volumes that there are so many women who resonated with that post.
“As a culture, we put so much emphasis on our outside appearance. For me seeing women build confidence, it really brought me joy.”
“It’s not about me – I want to make an impact on people’s lives in a positive way. We need to let go of that standard of beauty we have and learn to accept ourselves. And not find a value in what we look like.”
Images: Getty/Breanne Rice’s Instagram