I’ve heard you say your legs were badly burned in the horrible automobile fire, and even after skin grafting you are terribly scarred. That had to be a blow to someone who was a model. Any tips for someone who is going through a difficult transition – from model to real life?
Dear Real Life, (Real life: nothing is better; nothing is worse.) My legs do look rather, shall we say, “quilted” and because they no longer sweat(no oil glands), it’s difficult for one who loves playing sports as much as I. But I never try to cover up my scars. When I look at my legs now, I am reminded of my sweet Ryan who lost his life the day I got these scars. And then they take on a different significance.
When it comes to despair, I work backward from death.
American’s are obsessed by perfect body images because we compare ourselves to the airbrushed magazine cover images of women. Have we bought the Stepford lie?
I gained a bit more perspective from meeting the people in the world, who are far more fixated on their happiness than how they are being viewed. We met the Fues family in Germany, and in a very short time, this family, who loves God, country and family just as we do, adopted us! The admiration was mutual.
Carl and Bruni Fues instilled the importance of hard work, integrity and strong moral values in their children. They invited us to stay with them, fed us and treated us like old friends. Like many Europeans, they had a sauna which they used daily regardless of the weather. This dignified family that wouldn’t have dared call someone they had just met by their first name, invited Dr. and Mrs. Hirn into the sauna. Ron and I entered the sauna to find this entire family in the buff. Bare. Naked! Ron and I, in our swimsuits, cover-ups and towels were ‘overdressed’ to say the least.
So many wonderful experience were crammed into those travel days. When it comes to choosing perfection over the imperfection of real life – authentic life experiences win every time!
PS – Oh, did I mention when the Fues family left the sauna they jumped into the cold pool and then into the snow to make snow angels? Ron and I DID NOT join them in that adventure!
And remember, when the Tin Man went to see the Wizard he asked for the thing that really mattered most to him: not new legs, a heart!