Brave? Try confident!
You've probably already seen Turia Pitt's The Australian Women’s Weekly cover plastered all over the Internet by now. Publications are calling her brave for doing the cover.
But why is it "brave" for her to be on the cover of a magazine? Is it because she's not a perfectly airbrushed celebrity? Are we that vain of a society that we can't imagine a woman being able to overcome burns to 64% of her body and be confident?
Hell yeah she's confident. She believes in herself. She's beautiful.
Turia Pitt was just like any active, young adult in 2011, when she decided to participate in an ultra-marathon in Western Australia. At 24-years-old she had no idea how that day would change her life.
Turia was caught in a bushfire during the marathon. Overwhelmed by the heat, she attempted to run away from the flames, and that's when she was burned. Badly.
Instead of letting her wounds speak for her, Turia fought for her ability to walk and get back to her active lifestyle — despite the burns. Since recovering, she has swam a 12 mile race, walked the Great Wall of China and biked from Sydney to Uluru.
There's the story. The story is not that Turia is "brave" for showing her face.
Magazines should be putting real women like her on their covers. (And not just for shock value or to be lauded for their own daring).
She's just as humble as she is inspirational.
In her interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly, Turia — now 26 — says "I don’t think I have done anything inspiring… I honestly feel like the luckiest girl in the world."
She also has some important beauty notes for women.
"Beauty is how we carry ourselves. It’s walking tall and looking people in the eye and having confidence in yourself. That's what makes a woman beautiful," she says in the spread.
"We are all so much more than our bodies. At first it was hard to go out in public and have people stare at me. But I had to do it, otherwise I was giving in and letting this accident define and defeat me." Instead she let the accident empower her. The love of those around her and her own perseverance strengthened her during a time that many of us wouldn't have been able to weather.
The sweetest part of the story?
Turia's longtime boyfriend, Michael Hoskin, has stayed by her side throughout the entire journey, even quitting his job to care for her full-time. He's pictured in her The Australian Women's Weekly spread — by her side, confident and loving. Swoon!
"Any attempt to describe the magic and beauty of Turia seems to get lost in platitudes or clichés … yet I have never met a more remarkable person," Helen McCabe, editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly, wrote on their website.
And it's true. She's simply incredible! We want to see more inspiring young women on the covers of magazines rather than the same celebs every month.