Three years ago Diana Wright was hit by a car while unloading groceries, her two daughters feet away in her car’s backseat. The accident was so severe, Wright’s leg had to be amputated above the knee. And while waiting three months to receive her prosthesis, she wondered if she’d walk again.
But Diana’s story is one of triumph over trauma. During her month-long hospital stay, she recalled how her parents, both immigrants from Puerto Rico, taught their seven children that nothing was impossible if you were willing to work hard for it.” Throwing herself into physical therapy, she gradually began to rediscover both balance and confidence.
Featured in a new video, “Meet Diana,” from Dove Real Beauty Productions, Diana reveals her everyday struggles and highlights how she found confidence after the loss of her leg. In partnership with Dove and Shonda Rhimes, Diana has helped expand the definition of beauty for women and girls, who overwhelmingly cannot relate to depictions seen across film, TV and media today. Her experience powerfully brings to light an inspiring message for all women – real beauty is finding strength through determination.
Back to her former strength training routine, Wright now boasts a 95-pound dead lift. Real beauty, she says, “is being able to look back and see what you’ve accomplished.” And when she feels discouraged, she just reminds herself: “I am Diana, a wife, a mother and a teacher giving it her all to stay fit and healthy all on one leg – and I’m damn good at it!”
Diana’s profound story of strength and perseverance has turned her into a role model for her students. When girls in particular feel they have a positive role model, they are less likely to let anxiety about looks hold them back. Girls aspire to be confident; 65 percent of girls describe the women they look up to as confident.
The fifth grade English teacher, who playfully calls herself the Bionic Teacher, doesn’t hide her prosthesis. In fact, she hopes to empower a new generation by serving as a living example that there’s no obstacle you can’t overcome if you have determination. “If you’re feeling insecure, know that despite what you or anyone thinks you were uniquely made to do great things in this world,” she urges. “Now say it, believe it and – more importantly – go out and do it.”
On Television’s biggest night, Shonda and Dove will be honoring the real women in front of and behind the camera to celebrate the strides the industry has made to change the way women are seen on screen. Stay tuned on Sunday, September 17 at 5pm PT/8pm ET.
Emily Gawlak, [email protected]