A woman has revealed how ditching her job as a teacher to become an OnlyFans star has pulled her Filipino family out of poverty – as well as raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
Maeurn Smiles, 21, grew up in a poor neighbourhood in Cebu, a province of the Philippines, with her family barely scraping by and at times "going hungry", living off basic, cheap ingredients such as rice and dried fish.
But now, just two years after launching her OnlyFans career, the model has been able to pull her entire family – parents and two younger siblings – out of poverty and given them a new life.
She now travels around South East Asia and spends her time across the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
The model, who used to be an English teacher earning just $1 per hour, is now raking in the cash – making a five-figure salary each month and hopes to be able buy her family a mansion soon.
"My family was living in poverty before OnlyFans and now they live very comfortably for a family in the Philippines," she told Jam Press.
"This is what makes me most proud.
"Life growing up was really tough, I only realised just how tough after making some money. We ate very basic food every day, like rice and dried fish.
"I remember feeling hungry often and our parents borrowed money and got food from our neighbours regularly. Our home was made out of wood like a hut."
At the age of eight, Maeurn, who has two younger siblings, was forced to look after them while her parents worked.
"I was responsible for everything about them; feeding, cleaning, everything," she said.
"I really didn’t know how much responsibility I actually had at a young age until I got older, but looking back it was actually quite a tough childhood. It always gave me a desire to do better."
Her dad worked long hours as a construction driver and her mum would try to earn as much as possible cleaning houses.
Struggling English teacher to OnlyFans star
Determined to find a way out of poverty, aged 18, Maeurn signed up to work as a second language (ESL) teacher but the salary was barely enough to survive – just $1 an hour.
"I was just unable to support myself, let alone my family," she said.
And so, Maeurn decided it was time to try something new.
Having heard about other women successfully earning a lot of money on sites like OnlyFans, in 2019, she opened an account of her own.
She describes her new career as a "win-win", with the model doing what she loves and making enough money to pay for her family's needs.
Maeurn pays for her siblings' schooling, as well as buys them groceries every month and takes care of other bills and expenses.
"It was really a no-brainer," she said.
"Now, I'm safe in my own home, and I can be myself and make my fans and family happy at the same time.
"It's just like everybody wins.
"Otherwise, I don’t know what I would be doing for money. The opportunities are not much for girls in the Philippines."
Mauern has been able to treat herself too, buying herself a plot of land where she is building a three-bedroom house with a pool later this year.
"My dream is to buy my family land and build a mansion when I’m able to," she said.
"My family still lives in the same village in a concrete house but it’s still not very nice."
She now has more than 150,000 Instagram followers.
OnlyFans account never discussed with family
Maeurn adds that although her family are grateful for everything she has been able to give them, they never discuss her alternative career choice.
"I didn’t actually tell them, I think they just figured it out themselves," she said.
"They know about it but we just don’t talk about it.
"It just never naturally came up in conversation but it's not a big deal.
"They are very relaxed and open, and grateful for the support.
"Some friends didn’t react well but that’s their loss for not being open in this modern-day and age.
"My parents don’t really mind and I love what I do and the freedom and independence that this has given me."
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.