Chanel Ayan is THAT girl! The Real Housewives of Dubai cast member has become an audience favorite with her over-the-top style, incomparable beauty, and unapologetic confidence. Ayan embodies her opening credits tagline, “They don’t hate me because I’m beautiful. They hate me because they are basic.” She’s also part of BRAVO’s first international group in the Housewives franchise.

Unlike most cast members, she doesn’t come from a picture-perfect background. As Shadow & Act previously reported, the Somalian-Ethiopian beauty grew up in a traditional religious family in Kenya. And unfortunately, under the guise of her family, was a victim of forced genital mutilation when she was just 5-years-old. Ayan has shared that the cultural practice is to “force young girls to remain a virgin until marriage.”

Ayan eventually had the gruesome procedure reversed and used the traumatic event to fuel her purpose in life.

In a previous episode of RHODubai, Ayan opened up about the mutilation and the abuse she suffered at the hands of her father. The 44-year-old proudly claimed victory over her past, saying, “I’m a survivor!”

Her survivor mindset led to Ayan building a successful career in modeling. And being the owner of a talent agency and makeup brand, Ayan Beauty. Her cosmetic brand is made in collaboration with celebrity makeup artist Toni Malt.