“The Luckiest Girl in the World”

I have so many good things to say about this: an inspiring woman and a bold move in the right direction from Australian Women’s Weekly!

In September 2011, Turia Pitt was a mining engineer, an ultramarathoner, and a model when she entered a race in Kimberley, Australia that would change her life: she was caught in a brush fire and was burned over 65 percent of her body. Since then, she has fought through over 100 surgeries, 864 days in the hospital, and a lengthy recovery period. Now, the 29-year-old who calls herself “the luckiest girl in the world,” is being featured by the Australian Women’s Weekly magazine as their cover model for the July issue!

Since her remarkable recovery, Turia rode her bike over 1,300 miles (2,000+ km) from Sydney to Uluru, walked the Great Wall of China, and swam a 12-mile (20 km) race — just in the past six months alone — to raise funds for the reconstructive surgery charity, Interplast. On top of everything else, Turia, who is pictured her with her partner Michael Hoskin, has also written a book and is working on her master’s degree in engineering.

To Turia, her cover story in one of Australia’s premier women’s magazines is a “huge honor” and important for the message it sends, especially to women. As she told the Sydney Morning Herald, “For me, it sends the message that confidence equals beauty. There are a lot of women out there who are so beautiful but don’t have the confidence, and that’s what gets you over the line… We all have that inner strength, but rarely do we get the chance to see how incredible we truly are.”

Kate Leaver also wrote about the significance of featuring Turia on the cover for the website Mama Mia: “[Turia is] not a natural for a magazine cover. This is an industry that retouches even the most physically perfect women… Magazines trade on aspiration and glamour, which usually means putting a flawless, fake photograph of someone whose job is to be professionally beautiful.” Turia, Leaver says, is a woman who, as a former model, “knew what it was to be aesthetically close to perfection, and have it taken from her… And, yet. Here’s Turia Pitt. On the cover of AWW. Beautiful, strong, brave -– and physically scarred. Visibly scarred, but refusing to be defined by it.”

Leaver continues, “By putting Turia on the cover of Australia’s highest selling and most iconic magazine, Australian Women’s Weekly editor, Helen McCabe took a bold decision to celebrate a different kind of beauty, a different kind of achievement… And in doing so, she will put the beautiful Turia Pitt in every supermarket and newsagent in Australia and on hundreds of thousands of coffee tables around the country.”

“The knock-on effect will be profound,” she writes. “It will start conversations among people – especially curious children – who will want to know what happened to Turia.” Some people will be inspired to check out the work of the charity Turia supports, ReSurge International, which provides free reconstructive surgery to people around the world. And, “it will give parents a chance to talk to their kids about bravery and strength and courage and about beauty being so much more than what you see on the outside.”

To read more about the new cover and Turia’s story in Mama Mia, visit http://bit.ly/1sItLpU or check out Turia’s Facebook page at Turia Pitt.

To learn more about her book “Everything To Live For: The Inspirational Story of Turia Pitt,” visit http://amzn.to/1myyUfD

For stories starring girls and women overcoming many different forms of adversity to pursue their dreams, visit our “Resiliency” section http://www.amightygirl.com/books/personal-development/values?cat=220

For a diverse selection of books for both children and teens that encourage acceptance of physical diversity and appreciation of one’s own body, visit our “Body Image” section at http://www.amightygirl.com/books/personal-development/life-challenges/body-image

And, for two great books for tweens and teens that explore the unrealistic nature of the media messages they encounter related to beauty and body image, check out: “All Made Up: A Girl’s Guide to Seeing Through Celebrity Hype to Celebrate Real Beauty” for ages 10 to 14 (http://www.amightygirl.com/all-made-up) and “Body Drama” for ages 15 and up (http://www.amightygirl.com/body-drama).

Courtesy of “A Mighty Girl” on Facebook.

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~ by Sable Aradia on June 27, 2014.

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