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My name is and Zora.  I have dermatillomania which is a skin picking disorder.  With that I also have anxiety and depression. I started picking my skin at a young age to distract me from the trauma I was going through at the time.  It was a release for me. When I was growing up, I dealt with a lot of bullying and gawking because of my scars. School mates would pull me aside and ask me what was wrong with me, if I did drugs.  In society, people often associate dermatillomania with drug use because of photos that show pock marks on the faces of users of meth.


I also used to engage in self harm up to the age of 14.  People would look at my cutting scars and say that I was looking for attention, being “emo” and all that bullshit without understanding that I was a kid going through a lot more than they knew. 


I had support from other girls who I went to high school with.  I met them in the “nerd lab” and a lot of them had the same cutting scars as me and understood that the reason I was doing it was a lot deeper than attention – it was a call out for help as I did not have the ability to vocalise it.  


Social media has also helped, people seeing my pictures and not judging me.  When I was 17 years old, I first started modelling. Seeing my pictures, for the first time I saw that my scars were beautiful – they looked like the dots on a lady bug and the stripes on a tiger.  When I first posted on social media, I got so many messages from young women who also had dermatillomania and scars – they said after seeing me that they felt more confident and empowered and realized that their scars did not make them look any less beautiful.  It made me decide that I should continue pursuing model so that I can help other people with the same condition.