Australian Women's Weekly has taken a break from featuring Prince George, his parents Kate and William or Nicole Kidman on its cover and turned heads with a photo of burn victim and motivational speaker Turia Pitt for their July issue.
Described by the magazine as "quite simply one of the most impressive women you will ever hope to meet," Pitt is a 26-year-old mining engineer who was running a marathon in Australia in 2011 when she got caught in a brushfire. Pitt ended up with burns on over half of her body; her doctors weren't sure she would live. After hundreds of surgeries, she won a multimillion-dollar settlement against the organizers of the race. She's spent the years since raising money for various charities and is a panelist for Australian Women's Weekly's Women of the Future scholarship program, which "aims to uncover the women leaders of tomorrow."
Pitt told the magazine that being on the cover "is a huge honour":
"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."
She was previously featured in an article in the December 2013 issue about the strength of her relationship with her partner Michael Hoskins.
Australian Women's Weekly claims they are the country's most well-read magazine, with a circulation of 451,235. Editor-in-Chief Helen McCabe told Crikey that during the photoshoot, Pitt was standing next to former Miss Universe Jennifer Hawkins "which would be intimidating for most women — but it clearly wasn't confronting at all for her." McCabe's decision to put Pitt on the cover has been lauded by women's media in Australia (and news sources that have picked it up outside the country); Mamamia called it "the most striking, important photograph to appear on the front cover of an Australian magazine. Ever."
Images via Australian Women's Weekly and Turia Pitt/Instagram