Following a brutal acid attack, Italian beauty Gessica Notaro is thriving six months after showing her face for the first time. Before the attack, she was an aquarium worker and one of her main concerns was getting back to work. Today, she is back where she loves.

“My strength? Here it is,” she recently captioned a photo in Italian with a sea lion. She also continues to share her story — bravely showing her extensive scars to the world in hopes of inspiring anyone in a similar situation. “Friends… there are no excuses to give up their femininity,” she wrote. “With scars but on heel 12.”

In April, Gessica appeared on an Italian talk show to show viewers scars after she was attacked by her ex-boyriend, Jorge Edson Tavares, who allegedly emptied a bottle of acid on her face following their breakup. This caused the former Miss Italia finalist to spend two months “imprisoned” in a hospital room to treat the horrific injury.

“While the acid ate away at my face I was on my knees praying. I prayed to God: take away my beauty but at least leave me with my sight,” Gessica said on the Maurizio Costanzo show after revealing her now completely burnt face to the audience. “I have to spend all my money on medication – every half hour I need eye drops and I have to moisturize my skin constantly. I cannot do my job because I can’t go in the water.”

gessica notaro getty

Today, Gessica, 27, is slowly healing from her wounds while her ex, who denies the allegations, is awaiting trial. “I actually felt the plastic of the bottle on my face,” she explained on the talk show, according to the Daily Mail. “He lifted his arm to make sure he emptied the bottle completely and didn’t leave one drop. My face was burning and I instantly started losing my sight.”

She continued, “The night the attack happened, I prayed and said: ‘Take away my beauty or whatever needs to be taken away, but please let me keep my eyes.'” Despite the horrendous attack, the aspiring singer is also optimistic about her future, even with the knowledge that she will never look the same again.

gessica notaro instagram

“My face is ruined but my facial features are still there. My mouth is intact. So is my nose. I still recognize myself in the mirror. This eye should have been blind but it isn’t,” she said. “And the most important thing I found out that night is that my voice is still there. I risked losing it as the acid ended up in my mouth, but I was alert enough to spit it out.”

As for her ex-boyfriend, Gessica is not out for revenge but hopes he realizes the impact of his actions.”The only thing I would really like is for him to see me and see what he has done,” she added. What an inspiration.