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Is this the most important magazine cover ever?


Australian magazine The Australian Women's Weekly this month features burns victim, Turia Pitt, on its cover in a move that many have dubbed the boldest cover decision ever.

The national magazine, which usually features movie stars and pop singers, has chosen to put inspirational marathon runner Turia Pitt, 26, on its July cover.

Pitt was trapped in an out-of-control bushfire while taking part in an Australian marathon in 2011. She suffered burns that covered 64% of her body, including her face.

She was in hospital for six months following the fire, where she lost part of her hands, feet and ears, and had to wear compression bandages to heal her skin.

But following her recovery, she has become an ambassador for the charity Interplast, which works to provide reconstructive surgery to underprivileged people. Pitt has taken part in a number of events to raise money for not-for-profit organisation, including riding a bicycle from Sydney to Ayer's Rock, swimming a 20km race in Australia's largest lake, Lake Argyle and walking the Great Wall of China.

Turia Pitt walking the Great Wall of China earlier this year

Her courage and dedication inspired the Australian Women's Weekly team to invite her to join the panel for their Women of the Future scholarship awards.

Editor Helen McCabe said that there was no question of which member of the panel would feature on the cover of the magazine to promote the awards. "When Turia was photographed... 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."

"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."

The judging panel for the Australian Women's Weekly Women of the Future awards

The magazine has been praised for featuring the burns victim on its cover. In an industry where cover stars are artificially slimmed down and magazines are criticised for lack of diversity, both readers and media peers have praised the editorial team's choice.

Accolades have been flowing in across the internet, with readers praising the magazine on Facebook and Twitter, saying "I rarely buy your magazine. I also bought this month's edition to applaude both Turia and your editor. Thank you for putting on the cover a brave women who is a role model for all women and shows us what real beauty is."

Pitt said in the magazine that "being on the cover of The Australian Women's Weekly is a huge honour. I feel very humbled. 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 couldn't agree more.



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