I think one injury that I would be truly terrified of would be losing a limb. Since I have been reading and watching a lot of The Walking Dead, where maiming of this sort seems to be a common thing, it’s been on my mind more often recently. Sure, I would rather lose a leg than become a zombie if those were my two choices, but it’s still awful to think about going through life minus a leg, an arm, a hand, a foot……under any circumstance.
But then I saw this, thanks to the facebook page The Macabre and Beautifully Grotesque:
This is not a manipulated photo. This woman is a real life amputee.
Her name is Viktoria Modesta Moskalova, and this alternative beauty has been challenging the public’s perception of altered physicality after her elected surgery to amputate her left leg below the knee. According to the stories I have read online, Viktoria had chronic issues with the leg for years as the result of an accidental injury she sustained at birth. In order to improve her mobility and safeguard her future health, Viktoria chose to undergo surgery in 2007 which removed the lower portion of her left leg.
Viktoria has been modeling since she was 15 but her altered appearance has swept the alternative modeling world by storm. She has been on the cover of Bizarre magazine multiple times and has had many high profile gigs in London including being a co-presenter of the 2007 Kerrang Music awards. She’s also a musician, and I personally love her voice and style. You can hear some of her work here.
The limb in the picture above was a result of The Alternative Limb Project, a project created to either help provide the client with a prosthetic that will either blend in with their natural body or stand out as a work of art. In Viktoria’s case, we see a lot of the latter. My personal favorite that I have seen her wear is the Crystallized Leg which she wore during the London 2012 Paralympic Closing Ceremony in a portrayal of the Ice Queen. Truly awesome stuff.
Viktoria’s outlook on her missing limb has become something of an inspiration to other amputees. In her statement on the Alternative Limb Project’s webpage, Viktoria says, “Three years after the amputation, I then saw it as an opportunity to regard the leg as a fashion item and an art project which seemed rather fun and exciting. My natural curiosity and strong belief that it’s important to take control of your own body and most importantly improve it or reflect your personality though altered body image, meant facing a life of physical deformity and acceptance of the cards that were dealt to me wasn’t an option I wanted to take.” Viktoria’s insight on her amputation is uplifting and encouraging; helping to promote the idea that rather than accepting and simply dealing with the loss of a limb, an amputee can chose to embrace their fate as she has and make it an opportunity to showcase their individuality.
I respect this woman’s bravery and positive look at something most people (myself included) would fear. If you ever lost a limb, would you rather have a prosthetic that looked “normal”, or would you follow Viktoria’s example and take the opportunity to truly stand out?