In 2011, a 17-year-old Zhou Yan was set on fire by a deranged classmate after rejecting his romantic advances.
Five years later, Zhou is ready to show her face once again and bear her scars in a brave photoshoot that she uploaded to Weibo. Accompanied with her photos was a poem where she writes about looking forward and enjoying what life has to offer.
Her post has since been admired by tens of thousands who praise her for getting past such a tragic attack.
Before the attack, Zhou was a student in Hefei, that capital of Anhui Province. A fellow class mate, Tao Rukun, was the son of a government official who developed an attachment to Zhou. She turned him down multiple times and eventually sought to transfer to another school to avoid him.
One day, Tao visited Zhou’s home where he poured kerosene all over her and then lit her on fire. Zhou suffered second- and third-degree burns on 30% of her body. A bitter and vicious court battle ensued with Tao’s family that ended with Zhou’s family receiving $277,000.
Tao was found guilty and sentenced to 12 years in prison in 2012.
Zhou, who has over 210,000 followers on Weibo, also posts regularly about her daily activities and achievements.