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Over the last week, your Instagram feed has no doubt been overrun with #10YearChallenge posts. Some people approached the challenge as expected, sharing a photo of themselves from a decade ago, side-by-side with a recent shot. Others threw a hilarious spin on it (like Mariah Carey, who posted identical photos and said she doesn’t acknowledge the concept of time). But while many people understandably acknowledged how they’d aged over the years, one English celebrity interpreted the hashtag game in an especially inspiring way.
Katie Piper posted her side-by-side photos with a caption saying, “don’t let this challenge create anxiety within you about ageing – it’s an absolute privilege.” She explained that the first picture is of her at age 25, sitting in her mother’s kitchen in 2009; the second was recently taken in her own kitchen. Viewers don’t get the opportunity to see if Piper has more lines and wrinkles than she did 10 years ago because, in the older picture, her face is cover in a special mask to help protect and heal her skin after an acid attack.
Piper became a household name in the U.K. in 2008 after a man she’d been dating arranged to have someone throw acid in her face when she was preparing to end the relationship. An aspiring model and TV presenter at the time of the attack, Piper has undergone dozens of surgeries and therapeutic treatments, and she has shared her journey through books and television series.
Nearly 850 thousand people follow Piper on Instagram because her inspirational posts aren’t reserved for the occasional viral hashtag. Her positivity and resilience are apparent every time she posts, whether she’s showing off how far she’s come in gaining confidence in her appearance again or sharing how much she loves the life she has with her husband and children.
But Piper’s 10-year-challenge post has been especially moving to her followers, and it’s apparent in the comments. “Stunning inside and out,” one fan wrote — a sentiment echoed by many. Another said, “What an incredible lady you are. So brave and inspirational 💕💗😍.”
But it’s Piper herself who may have succinctly summarized why her post is resonating so much when she answered a commenter who thanked her for making her 10-year-challenge post about gratitude and empathy. “Some of the posts have been playing on people’s insecurities and we don’t need anymore,” she replied. “Life is tough for everyone as it is.”
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