When I was approached by Lauren to write a blog post about Chronic Beauty, I said, “Sure, why not!” I honestly had no idea what Chronic Beauty was or why she wanted me to write a blog post about it. First off, I am a new blogger and I don’t have a huge following. I thought I would dig deep into their website and see what exactly Chronic Beauty is all about.
Honestly, I was touched and heartbroken at the same time. Chronic Beauty is about 12 women battling chronic conditions. It is not only about these women battling these conditions, but also how these illnesses alter their representation of beauty and one’s self. I encourage you to follow these women on their journey through their chronic illnesses. I also would like to share with you someone I personally know, who is battling her own right now as well.
Illness isn’t beautiful, but the women fighting it are.
My friend Amanda, well we are more acquaintances now, but we were friends once upon a time during our school aged years. Even though we don’t keep in touch, I do follow her life through Facebook as well as on her blog. I will always think of Amanda as a friend.
I can remember the days from elementary school, where I always looked up to Amanda. She is tall and I am (still) extremely short. She has gorgeous red hair. She is absolutely beautiful. The one thing I always noticed about Amanda was that she was strong. Not only in her physical manner, but in her attitude and in her confidence she instilled. Amanda is not only smart, but she played sports and she is great at everything she does. She is my role model and she still is ’til this day.
I found out earlier this year that Amanda is battling breast cancer. When I found out, I cried for hours. I cried for my friend, who I had not spoken to in years. Amanda is at war for her life, what is she going to do to win? As I have been following her on Facebook and on her blog, I have been supporting her journey.
In June 2016, Amanda had a mastectomy completed. I couldn’t believe she just gave up her identity as a woman. I know she made the right decision, but myself as a woman, could not bear that thought. I identify myself as a woman by having breasts. For Amanda though, she says, “It really hasn’t bothered me at all not having boobs, it’s been kind of a nice break frankly. When I look in the mirror, I still see the same Amanda with long red hair.” I really commend her for what she is doing. She is taking charge of her life and she wasn’t going to let breasts get in the way of who she is.
Even after her mastectomy, you guess’d it. It’s back. Chemo is next on her schedule. After some chemo treatments, Amanda’s hair began to fall out. I was devastated for her. But she made a bold move and she got it cut short! I must say long hair, short hair…it doesn’t matter because she could pull it off and look good doin’ it!
When I read that she decided to buzz off the rest of her vibrant red hair, I was really curious how she was going to rock her new do! Amanda did what every girl wants to do, buy a wig and have a different persona for each one! That is exactly what she did! She named one of her brunette wigs, Kitty! Amanda even got crazy and bought a pink wig and her son said she looked like Katy Perry, but she didn’t. She just looked like Amanda, who was still enjoying her life and having fun.
Even though Amanda no longer has her long red hair, I still see that Amanda with long red hair in each of these wigs. No matter who she decides to be each day, Amanda is still beautiful with or without her long red hair…with or without breasts. She has conquered her journey so far and I will follow her ’til the day she kicks breast cancers ass! Amanda has such an amazing attitude in such at time in her life. She is definitely a role model that everyone needs to have in their lives, no matter what they are battling themselves. Please support Amanda’s journey on her blog Panda Strong!
I look forward to following the stories of the 12 women also battling chronic conditions on the Chronic Beauty Campaign. Please be sure to follow for updates! Be sure to click below for the Chronic Beauty Calendar & Bag Pre-sale! Help support women battling chronic illnesses.