Gabriella Alvillar has gained nearly 90,000 followers on Instagram, not only because of her fierce and classic makeup looks but also for sharing her inspiring story.
Three years ago, the now-19-year-old was involved in a car accident. The driver was speeding and overcorrected during a turn. Gabriella was ejected from the vehicle. The teen had to be airlifted to an emergency room in Las Vegas. The accident dislocated her spine, which caused a spinal cord compression, leaving her paralysed from the T7 vertebra on down.
“I spent 8 months in a rehabilitation hospital,” Gabriella tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “Once I got home, I struggled emotionally.”
The teen grew up going to dance lessons. Having lost the mobility of her legs left her unable to practice, which took an emotional toll on her. “I felt lost without dance,” she shares.
However, she found something to fill the void. Gabriella shares with Yahoo Lifestyle that learning how to do makeup became her new passion.
“I started experimenting with makeup and found the same love in it as dance,” she says.
She now wants to share her story to inspire others and offers advice on how to overcome the obstacles life can throw at you.
“The most important thing while learning self-love is completely cutting out all the negative,” she says.
“Take care of yourself. Do things you love and do them for yourself.”
She adds: “The only person’s opinion that matters is your own. Just because you’re not ideal ‘perfect’ doesn’t mean you aren’t beautiful.”