Women's magazines are typically covered by Hollywood starlets or in-demand supermodels. Although Turia Pitt is neither, her cover of Australia's Women's Weekly makes for one seriously inspirational example against the status quo.
Pitt is a 26-year-old burn victim who suffered burns to 65 percent of her body three years ago when she was caught in a brushfire while running an ultra-marathon in Australia. She underwent 100 surgeries and spent more than 864 days in the hospital fighting for her life.
Today, the mining engineer is a motivational speaker and author. She is also a member of Women's Weekly judging panel for the annual Women of the Future scholarship awards. After Pitt was photographed as part of the panel, Women's Weekly editor decided to put her on the cover.
"When Turia was photographed as part of our Women of the Future judging panel among a group of similarly impressive Australian women, it was clear from the moment she sat in front of the camera that the July cover had to belong to her," Editor-in-Chief Helen McCabe said, according to Australia's Women's Weekly. "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."
Pitt says she believes her cover can have an impact off the page.
"Being on the cover of the Australian Women's Weekly is a huge honor. I feel very humbled," she said. "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."Pitt's extraordinary appearance has already touched people around the world, including Hello Giggles blogger Margaret Eby who wrote about why Pitt could be a catalyst for real change:
Let Pitt be an example to other publishers of women’s magazines: Beauty comes in many vessels. Women need to see less gloss, and more grit. Less mascara, and more accomplishment. More women of color, more women with diverse backgrounds, just more. What if magazines started using women who didn’t look perfect on their covers? What if they started using women with unique faces and incredible back stories? Could we handle it? Yes, yes we could.