If you’re a part of the Dolan Twin fandom, you know just how tight Grayson and Ethan’s relationsh­ip is.

The brothers literally do everything together, and it only takes a quick watch of one of their videos to see how genuine their bond is. But last December, Ethan started a journey that, for the first time in his life, he went on completely solo. That’s when he began to develop acne that severely impacted his selfesteem. “Gray’s skin decided to just glow, while mine did the opposite,” he shares. The experience changed Ethan’s life in ways he never expected.

Though he has always been pretty confident, struggling with acne while millions of people were free to judge was not easy on Ethan’s self-esteem. “We’ve been in front of a camera every day since we were 14 years old. I was fearful that [my acne] would get to the point that everyone would notice,” Ethan shares. “And then it did get worse. My biggest fear came true.” Ethan’s acne was met by cruel comments that lead to #EthanDolan­Ugly becoming the top trending topic on Twitter. He was never one to care about what people said before, but this time, the comments had an impact. “I slowed my entire life down because of marks on my face,” he recalls. “I didn’t wanna be on camera, didn’t wanna go in public, didn’t want people to see me.”

Ethan got to the point where even hanging out with his closest friends would trigger his insecuriti­es. “If I was hanging out with a friend, I would actually apologize for the way my skin looked,” he shares. “My acne completely destroyed my self-confidence.” All Grayson could do was watch as his bother became a sadder, less outgoing version of himself. “It broke my heart,” Grayson says of Ethan’s struggle. “I’m not sure it’s something I would’ve been able to handle.” Because he was too insecure to be on camera, Ethan and Grayson took a three-month break from making YouTube videos. Suddenly, Ethan wasn’t doing any of the things he loved and was feeling lower than ever. That’s when Grayson knew he had to do something. He thought it would be good for Ethan to get out of the house, so he pitched the idea for them to go rock climbing together. “I couldn’t get myself to get up out of bed and go with him,” Ethan admits. But after some persistenc­e, Ethan finally gave in. “[He] got me out of the place I was in,” Ethan smiles. “He said, ‘It’s the little things that initiate the climb out of a low place.’” It turns out, Grayson was right.

The new hobby took Ethan’s mind off of constantly thinking about his acne and he slowly started to feel like his old self again. He found more new things to focus on and built up the confidence to share his acne story with the world. Through the most difficult times, he says he’s even closer to Grayson than he was before.

Now, Ethan has come out on the other side feeling much better about himself, even if his skin isn’t perfect. “I can’t say that I’m fully confident 100% of the time with the way my skin looks, but I can definitely say that my self-image and mental state has improved immensely and reached a level I never thought it could be at again,” he shares. “If growing in the way I did means that I have to have these scars on my face, then I wouldn’t trade that.”

Most of all, Ethan hopes his experience gives you some comfort if you’re struggling with self-esteem issues. “If you have acne, scars or anything that bothers you about your appearance, know that one day you will be free from the insecuriti­es,” he assures. “You will get through it, it doesn’t define you and you’re not alone.”

 ??  ?? “The worst part of it was I didn’t know when it was going to stop,” Ethan reveals.
“The worst part of it was I didn’t know when it was going to stop,” Ethan reveals.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States