Melissa Juried Kriebel
A British teen left with horrific burns on more than half of her body has become an unexpected beauty influencer on TikTok, inspiring her vast, new following.
Aleema Ali, 18, has clocked up more than 780,000 followers on the social media app, six years after she caught fire while walking through her family’s kitchen with flammable head-lice treatment in her hair.
Ali — who was 12 years old at the time — was left in a coma for five weeks following the fire. Doctors feared the youngster would die due to the severity of her burns, but she miraculously managed to pull through.
“The only thing I was thinking was, ‘I’m going to die,’ ” Ali recalled in a new interview with Caters. “How can somebody make it out after such a big accident?”
Ali suffered burns to her face, leaving her with little self-confidence. Then the teen discovered social media beauty tutorials, with cosmetic tips and tricks helping her to feel more beautiful.
She subsequently decided to start her own TikTok beauty account as a creative outlet and has unexpectedly become a source of makeup wisdom for hundreds of thousands of fawning fans.
Speaking with Caters, Ali recalled that she returned home from boarding school back in 2016 to discover that she had contracted head lice.
She applied Full Marks Solution shampoo and left the lotion on her head, without realizing it was highly flammable. While walking through the kitchen, where her mom was making dinner, Ali’s hair came into close proximity of a cooker, which turned the tween into a “human fireball.”
After her nine-month hospital stint, and with her appearance drastically altered, the high school student became interested in makeup as a means of helping her feel more beautiful. Over the years, she has become a cosmetics connoisseur, and she is now sharing that wisdom on TikTok.
The survivor’s videos often go viral, with fans swearing by her product reviews and tips for helping them enhance their features.
In one recent clip, which has been viewed almost 50,000 times, Ali shows off the products she uses on her glossy black hair — which unexpectedly grew back, despite doctors saying it never would.
Followers have subsequently snapped up the items Ali swears by, with one cooing: “Please do a proper hair tutorial, because your hair is goals for real.”
Despite the trauma of what she has been through, the woman, who is soon set to have surgery to have her tracheotomy removed, said she feels better than ever — on the inside and the out.
“It’s changed my life for the better,” she told Daily Mail while discussing her beauty ventures. “I’m a much stronger, braver and confident than I was before.”