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Inspirational Burn Victim Covers Women's Magazine

An Australian glossy had the guts to go where no one's gone before, and is winning major props as a result

"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."
Three years ago, while out in the Australian bush competing in an ultramarathon, a fire changed Turia Pitt's life forever.

The model-turned-engineer was burned on over 65 percent of her body but, 100 surgeries and 864 days in the hospital later, Pitt, 26, doesn't want to play the victim or have you feel sorry for her -- this is one tough cookie who's hell-bent on using her story to give people the hope and courage to persevere over whatever challenges may come their way.

And now, thanks to The Australian Women Weekly magazine, which had the cojones to put a different kind of beauty on its cover, Pitt and her story are reaching a wider audience than ever before.

The cover girl of the July issue of the glossy publication, Pitt, who's now a best-selling author and a charity fundraiser, calls herself the "luckiest girl in the world."

And, she's not being coy. Pitt truly believes that her accident was fortuitous and that's part of what landed her the cover. Editor in Chief Helen McCabe explains, "The July cover had to belong to her. 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."

"We all have that inner strength, but rarely do we get the chance to see how incredible we truly are," says Pitt. "I've had to claw my way back into life -- learn to walk, to talk. All the things I had taken for granted before became seemingly impossible tasks."

READ: 5 Reasons You Should Never Ever Pull an All-Nighter

Naturally, having a fellow burn victim appear on the cover of a fashion and beauty book is huge for other survivors who, through her, will begin to realize that beauty is about more than having a perfect face or body.

As Linda Hansen, executive director of Burns Recovered Support Group told Yahoo Shine, "To feature this woman in such a prominent way is about how her gift is not about the scars on her face. That doesn't make her any less of a person. My guess is it makes her more of a person."

And, in the accompanying cover interview, Pitt says, "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."


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