Woman’s Beach Pic Shared By Thousands, Easy To Understand

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Many women post beach photos on social media, but very few go viral. After one woman posted a beachside photo of herself in a bathing suit, it was quickly shared by thousands — and when you see the image in its entirety, it’s easy to understand why it went viral.

Aimee Copeland
Aimee Copeland (Photo Credit: Facebook)

Like many women, Aimee Copeland hasn’t always been comfortable with her body, and she has a very valid reason for her reservations. In May of 2012, the then-24-year-old grad student who was getting her master’s degree in psychology at the University of Georgia, suffered a tragic accident after she and her friends got on a homemade zip line that they found in a Carrollton, Georgia, creek, according to Cosmopolitan. Unfortunately, the accident would change Aimee’s appearance forever.

During Aimee’s second turn on the zip line, which was described as “not much more than a dog wire with handlebars,” the wire snapped.  Aimee crashed into the sharp rocks below, leaving her with a deep cut on her calf, she told People. Sadly, that was only the beginning of the difficult road ahead that the young woman would face, unbeknownst to her at the time. Although her injuries were stitched up with 22 surgical staples and Aimee was sent home, she couldn’t shake the feeling that “something just didn’t feel right” in her leg.

Aimee Copeland before her tragic accident. (Photo Credit: Facebook)
Aimee Copeland suffered a tragic accident while zip-lining when the wire snapped. (Stock image for visual representation only. Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Three days later, Aimee woke up with blood blisters on her left leg. Strangely, her tongue was also “shriveled up in her mouth” and she was unable to speak. Aimee was, of course, rushed to the hospital to get answers. There, she was diagnosed with an incredibly rare flesh-eating bacterial disease called necrotizing fasciitis that can quickly become fatal if not treated properly.

With the life-threatening disease wreaking havoc on Aimee’s body, all of her limbs were amputated in hopes of saving her life. Although it worked, it also left the young woman permanently and severely disfigured, having lost her right leg, left foot, and both hands. But, rather than falling into an understandably deep depression brought on by such unfortunate circumstances, Aimee decided to fight for her life and never give up.

“I wasn’t going to let anything hold me back. There is always hope for another day and that continual instinct to keep on trying and never give up,” Aimee explained.

Aimee chronicled her very long and difficult recovery on social media, but some things were more difficult to share than others — such as photos that showed all of her amputations and scars. However, that’s exactly what she decided to do years after her accident. While on vacation in Puerto Rico, Aimee celebrated her journey of body acceptance and love with a joyful photo.

Sporting a two-piece swimsuit, Aimee smiled for the camera with her entire body on full display — scars, amputations, and all — in hopes of inspiring everyone to love their bodies, regardless of their “flaws.”

“It has taken me a long time to become comfortable with and accept my new body,” Aimee captioned the photo, reminding everyone that regardless of how our bodies may look, they are beach ready. “We are ALL made with imperfections and there is so much beauty in our flaws. The scars and skin grafting build character! It’s not about what you have — what you do with what you have is what really counts.”

Aimee Copeland
Aimee Copeland in her viral swimsuit photo. (Photo Credit: Facebook)
Aimee Copeland
Aimee Copeland has continued to share photos that she hopes will encourage others to love their bodies, flaws and all. (Photo Credit: Facebook)

After her tragic zip-lining accident and subsequent amputations, Aimee Copeland began working as a public speaker and an advocate for those with disabilities, Metro reported. Even over a decade after her injuries, she continues to inspire others through her public speaking engagements and social media posts. In addition to her advocacy work, Aimee also decided to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology at the University of West Georgia, proving that, regardless of what tragic circumstances we may face, we can still succeed and see our dreams come true.

“I’ve let go of the girl I was before,” Aimee explained. “I’ve completely embraced who I am.”

Bravo to this young woman for being an inspiration in so many ways. Not only does Aimee exude eternal positivity in the face of great adversity, but she also reminds us all that we can embrace our imperfections and find beauty in our unique bodies. In addition, she also proves that we can work hard to overcome any obstacle we may face, so long as we remember to have the right attitude about our struggles. She turned tragedy into triumph, and we can too.