By Hannah Stevens @Hannahshewans
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Videographer / director: Adam Gray
Producer: Hannah Stevens, Ruby Coote
Editor: Grant Hanson-Vaux
Asia Williams, 22, and India Walls, 20, were born with Treacher Collins Syndrome (TCS), a genetic craniofacial disorder that affects the bones and tissue in the face and can also affect hearing and eyesight.
The sisters, from Marion, Ohio, inherited the syndrome from their mother, Nicole, who inherited it from a great-great grandparent, and taught her girls from day one to embrace their unique beauty.
After enduring years of bullying, the sisters - whose hearing has been affected by the syndrome - decided to share their story online to encourage more people with TCS to accept the traits that set them apart from the crowd.
Asia told Barcroft TV: “I won’t say that it has affected us negatively just because we were brought up and told that we were beautiful no matter what.
“We just took it upon ourselves and just started posting pictures and just started being us and it affected us in a really positive way.”
While their mother worked hard to grow the girls’ confidence, experiencing bullying in real life and online impacted their self-image for several years.
India said: “It was really bad to the point where I didn’t want to come to school I would tell my mom lcan I stay at home - I don’t want to go to school.
“When I looked at other children back at my childhood, I’d be like why are we different from everyone else?
“Like, why is everyone else look normal and I look like this? I would just come home and look at myself in the mirror and be like why do I look like this? What do I have?
“It was just crazy and it came to a point where I didn’t want to be on this earth anymore, so I had to like take a moment to myself to step up and be okay, this is life.
“This is what the world’s gonna be, so I can’t keep hiding myself in a dark room, I have got to come out.”
The sisters inherited the syndrome from their mother Nicole, who is overjoyed at the way her girls have embraced their beauty and have helped others with TCS to do the same.
Nicole said: “My girls showing and sharing their story on social media, to me, it is a blessing because some people just need to hear other people’s stories.
“They have some strong confidence within themselves where some might not have confidence in themselves but my girls have confidence.
“As a mother to Asia and India, it makes me very proud of them. I am very proud of them, people are looking up to them and they are admiring them - I even learn from them.”
As children both girls faced health issues and India spent several years under careful watch after having a tracheotomy and a feeding tube as a baby, but they have never let their problems hold them back.
Asia and India have also gotten a lot of support from their friends who have seen them grow from self conscious teens to confident young women.
Friend Otis Vaughn said: “It’s a very huge impact for them to get out there and let everybody know, ‘hey it’s okay.’
“They motivate everybody online so that’s really a good thing nowadays, so I really think it’s a very good thing what they are doing online.”
Childhood friend Alexis Williams added: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and to me when I look at them they are beautiful to me.
“Their personality is beautiful they are very generous they put themselves last.”
After one of their family photos went viral, the girls have attracted tens of thousands of followers to their Instagram and they are continuing to share their story in the hopes of connecting with more people who have TCS.
Asia said: “The advice that I would give to other people who has Treacher Collins Syndrome is never compare yourself because comparing yourself is what’s going to destroy you. Just learn.”
India finished: “To just love yourself!”