Bankson was born to Jennifer and Richard Bankson in San Francisco, California. She grew up in the affluent suburbs of the San Francisco bay area and was raised in a predominantly Christian household. At age eight, Bankson developed a rather innocuous strain of Acne vulgaris, which later transformed into an aggressive strain of acne conglobata by the time she was fourteen. Eventually her severe skin condition had progressed to the extent that it engulfed her entire face and most of her body. Bankson's parents tried tirelessly to treat their daughter's acne by taking her to 16 different specialists across the United States and western Europe, which proved unsuccessful. Bankson was bullied relentlessly for her severe acne and eventually pulled out of school as a result. She later studied with a private tutor to complete her education. Along with her skin condition, she also has uterus didelphys, a condition wherein she possesses two vaginas, two wombs, and two cervixes.
Bankson had been working with local professional photographers and model coach Charleston Pierce when she decided to submit professional shots to modeling agencies in San Francisco.
Bankson attended auditions for America's Next Top Model in Blackhawk and Los Angeles, but did not make it to the televised stages. Bankson has modeled for companies including Citizens of Humanity, HP, Davidson and Licht, Farouk Hair Systems, "Guess By Marciano" CHI (with Miss America Contestants and Abel Salazar), Biosilk, Prada, Bebe, along with appearing in other catalogs, magazines, local TV programmes, and runway shows. In April and May 2012, Bankson took part in appearances throughout Sephora stores in partnership with Hourglass Cosmetics.
On September 13, 2012, Bankson walked at the Boy Meets Girl runway show at New York Fashion Week.
In 2010, Bankson began making videos on the YouTube channel "Diamondsandheels14" on topics such as makeup, fashion, and lifestyle.
The channel's most popular video, titled "Foundation Routine For Flawless Skin Acne Coverage", showing Bankson's bare skin and her secrets to cover her severe acne, gained international attention including that of Right This Minute, Good Morning America, "Anderson", The Today Show, The Insider, MSN, Fox News, and the front page of AOL, Yahoo, and MSN. After posting the video, she didn't look at the comments for four months, afraid of being bullied online. She posted the video hoping it would help "just one person". The video has since gained well over 21 million views. Bankson "made it her mission" to help others with makeup, confidence, acne, and skin conditions online. Her daily videos have also received international press and media attention She is a 'vlogger', and has also posted videos for men who suffer with acne. As of 22 May 2015, her YouTube channel has over 787,000 subscribers and 110 million video views. Along with YouTube, Bankson has a large following on other social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Bankson's story and her popular YouTube video were featured in an episode of Investigation Discovery's Karma's A B*tch.