Art

Over60

The intimate family pictures of Turia Pitt before the fire that almost took her life

Turia Pitt’s life changed in September 2011, when she got trapped in a grass fire during a 100-kilometre ultramarathon in Western Australia’s Kimberley.

The then-24-year-old suffered burns to 65 per cent of her body and faced years of cosmetic and reconstruction surgery to treat her injuries.

Pitt donned a mask for 23 hours a day for almost two years to help heal her burns before she decided to never wear it again. However, she said she was still worried over her appearance then.

“When I look at photos of myself before I think bloody hell, I was actually good looking,” she told 60 Minutes in 2013.

“I am concerned about my appearance … I realised I was just as vain as anyone else.

“I was really pissed off at everyone because they kept saying you just look different ... in reality, I looked really bad.”

But in her journey to recovery, Pitt has come to accept and celebrate her altered appearance.

In 2014, Pitt was featured on the cover of Australian Women’s Weekly

“Being on the cover of The Australian Women's Weekly is a huge honour,” said Pitt.

“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.

“Beauty is: standing up straight, having confidence, looking people in the eye and having the ability to look in the mirror and think, ‘Yep, I look damn fine today’.”

Pitt also remains open about what she called “the before” – or her life before the fire – to her fans, often sharing throwback pictures on her social media pages.

Scroll through the gallery above to see rare and intimate photos of Pitt before and after the fire.