Student Won't Date Because She Fears People Will Feel Catfished When They See Her Real Face
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A student refuses to date anyone because she's scared people will think she is a catfish when they meet her in real life.
Abigail Collins suffers from severe acne and says it has damaged her chances of meeting someone and starting a relationship.
The 19-year-old from Glasgow, Scotland, was only 10 years old when she started noticing breakouts on her face, but over time her occasional breakouts became more frequent, and by 2014 Abigail was dealing with severe cystic acne.
She said: "About five years ago it really peaked and my skin was the worst it's ever been. I had constant breakouts and a new spot every day, leaving me with bad scarring now.
"I've even struggled to get into relationships as I was so self-conscious about my skin and how it looked, especially to someone romantically, so I tried, and still do, to avoid this.
"I don't date purely because I don't want anyone to think I'm a catfish or that I'm not being honest about the way I look. It's so difficult to understand and see how another person interprets you."
When she was at school, Abigail said she was the 'elephant in the room' and was picked on because she looked so different from other girls.
She would spend up to two hours trying to hide her condition.
The sales advisor and criminology student said: "I was bullied for years about my skin and the way I looked, mainly because nobody else looked the same as me which meant I was the elephant in the room every time.
"My friends sometimes had negative things to say and would use my skin against me, which has left me with major trust issues when it comes to meeting new people.
"I felt like I had to wear makeup every day for school and I was often late because I had to make sure everything was covered, so it would take me one or two hours to get ready."
She added: ""I have a few close friends from school who support me unconditionally and help me in any way they can, but I still often feel alone as I don't know anybody first hand who has similar experiences to me or who looks like me. This made my self-acceptance difficult."
Over time, however, Abigail realised no one really cared about how she looked and now rarely wears makeup to lectures, saving it for nights out instead.
"I struggled with the concept of having to move away for university as I was scared I would get a bad reaction from people I would be living with," she explained.
"I was very self-conscious at first and skipped lectures when my skin was bad, but when I went into second year, I realised nobody cared."
Abigail now shares her story on Instagram, in the hope it will inspire more people like her to embrace their looks.
She said: "Instagram has helped me so much as I've seen so many other people who look like me and made me feel less alone. It's nice to be able to chat to people about how I'm feeling or how our skin is doing that day, which is something you can't discuss with most people.
"I hope to show others that acne doesn't define you and that you're never as alone as you feel. There are always people out there who can relate and understand what you are going through and can support you."