Cruel trolls tell me to cut off my 7 stone leg and say I’m ‘deformed’ but I’m proud of my body
A WOMAN has told of the abuse she receives online from cruel trolls who tell her to cut off her seven stone leg – but she insists she's "proud" of how she looks.
Mahogany Geter, 23, from Knoxville, Tennessee in the USA, was born with lymphedema, a long-term condition where excess fluid collects in the body’s soft tissue, which causes swelling on her left leg.
Cruel trolls mock Mahogany with comments telling her to “amputate her leg so she will look better” but she has learnt to ignore them.
People even call her "deformed" and compare her leg to a "ham roll" – but she doesn't let it get to her.
Mahogany said: “I have had my fair share of ignorant comments, one person told me my leg looked like a ham roll and one girl at school called me a deformed b*tch. It has been so hard to rise above these mean people but I have no other choice.
“For the longest I felt so low about myself but once I got older and with loads of support from the online lymphedema community and my mum who is my inspiration, she is so strong, I realised how beautiful I am. Not only looks but as a person.
“It means I can try my best to inspire other people to accept themselves and see how beautiful they are.”
The bullying started when she was a child which really knocked her confidence, but she she says she is “beautiful inside and out.”
The fashion model now proudly shows off her disability with empowering photoshoots on Instagram, as well as on her YouTube channel and TikTok.
"People have been so nice and supportive of me online. It isn’t all trolling and negativity. I have met so many people online who keep me company on this health journey I am on," she added.
What is lymphedema?
According to the NHS, lymphoedema is a long-term (chronic) condition that causes swelling in the body's tissues and can affect any part of the body – but usually develops in the arms or legs.
It develops when the lymphatic system, which is a network of channels and glands throughout the body that helps fight infection and remove excess fluid, doesn't work properly.
The main symptom of lymphoedema is swelling in all or part of a limb or another part of the body.
It can be difficult to fit into clothes, and jewellery and watches can feel tight.
If not treated early, lymphoedema can get worse over time.
Doctors diagnosed Mahongany with lymphedema shortly after birth, andinformed her mum Timika Geter, now 42, when they first noticed the difference in her left foot.
There is currently no cure and excess fluid builds in Mahogany’s leg which can only be eased with physiotherapy and lymphatic drainage massage.
At its largest, Mahogany's leg adds 100lb (7 stone) to her 300lb (21 stone) total body weight.
Mahogany, the eldest of three sisters, said: “My mum was so worried when I was diagnosed but we have got through everything together.
"As a child I never felt pretty, I used to think God had cursed me. I felt ugly, like a freak of nature and cried in private so many times.
“Then I decided that I was given this condition because I am emotionally strong and I can handle it.
“Since then I have been learning to accept and celebrate myself.
“I want to inspire other people to celebrate their differences. I now believe I am beautiful on the inside and out. I’m proud of what my body can do.”
On good health days Mahogany likes to stay active with her physiotherapy and creating TikTok and Instagram content on her page lymph.goddess23 where she has over 8,000 followers.
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She said: “I’m not currently working as I am focusing on getting my leg better. I spend a lot of time drawing, listening to music and posting content on my YouTube channel.”
Day to day Mahogany manages her condition with massage, compression dressings and physiotherapy.
She also drinks lots of water to flush out her system and has to avoid salty foods and alcohol.
Unfortunately, Mahogany can suffer with flare ups of cellulitis – a painful skin infection caused by the swelling which often leaves her hospitalised for treatment with antibiotics.
Mahogany said: “It does get frustrating dealing with flare ups because I just want to live my life more freely and it feels like I can’t.
“If I don’t keep on top of my condition I get flare ups, it can be overwhelming.
"When I feel low I take steps now to build myself up. I take a break from social media, I listen to music, meditate and definitely talk to my mother because she’s like my therapist.”
Mahogany added: “Despite the hard times I honestly feel like I live a normal life. I try to be strong and stay focused on my dreams of making it as a model.
“If I ever make it big I want to buy my mother a house and take care of my family, then I’ll do everything I can to raise awareness of lymphedema to pay it back to everyone who has ever shown me kindness.”
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