American teenager Cassandra Bankson is the modern-day Ugly Duckling - from acne-ridden teenager to You Tube make up guru and finally swanning down the catwalks of New York's Fashion Week - her fairytale has captured the attention of news agencies and netizens worldwide.
Just a while ago, the 19-year-old was living in a young woman's nightmare - she suffered from severe cystic acne that covered her face, neck and back with red, pus-filled, boil-like acne.
According to the New York Post, school mates nicknamed her "The Virus" and threw slices of pizza at her in the cafeteria.
Teased and bullied mercilessly, she stopped going to school to avoid the stares and taunts that followed her down hallways.
Today, Cassandra has the last laugh - the size 4 beauty was spotted strutting down the catwalk for US label Boy Meets Girl at the recent New York fashion week - her stunning features and poise generating buzz amongst modeling agents.
The self-styled "YouTube beauty guru" has also posed for Bebe, Range Rover, and is now an ambassador for cosmetics company Hourglass - all in the space of a year.
How did her fairytale happen?
Everything changed when in 2010, Cassandra decided to take ownership of her problems and uploaded home made YouTube videos of her makeup techniques - aimed at helping other acne-ridden young women cover up their flaws and feel ready to face the world.The before and after makeup video that propelled her to fame (You Tube screengrab)
One YouTube video shows Cassandra baring her face completely to viewers and her magical transformation from spotty, self-conscious teenager into a glowing visage of chiselled features, flawless skin and piercing blue eyes.
"This is the most nerve wracking thing I've had to do.. this is my biggest insecurity .. but this is my face," says a visibly emotional Cassandra as she presents her naked face to the camera.
The San Francisco native then chatters on self-deprecatingly as she applies layer after layer of makeup onto her face, acne and scars disappearing under make up base, carefully applied foundation and concealer.
In the space of a month, the heart-felt clip had garnered almost 9 million hits as the video went viral, propelling her to instant fame as messages of support and encouragement poured in.The amazing Ugly Duckling transformation (YouTube screengrab / Cassandra's Facebook)
Heartened by her success, Cassandra went on to film more videos with make up and skin care tips, sharing her struggles with her bad complexion and insecurities on her Facebook as well.
Her channel, DiamondsandHeels14, now has almost 300,000 subscribers and her 500 videos have been viewed over 43 million times, and she has been featured on the New York Post, appeared on Good Morning America, and described as a "living role model" to insecure young girls with big ambitions.Cassandra on the Good Morning America talkshow (Getty Images)
The dream for Cassandra is not quite over - she has told reporters that "if everything works out", she will be postponing her college education and making the move to the Big Apple to pursue her dream career as a fashion model.
"Anything is possible!" she enthuses on a video sharing her thoughts on her very own Ugly Duckling fairytale.
Watch her transformation here -