“I used to think God had cursed me”

Born with lymphedema, Mahogany Geter is making a difference in the fashion world spreading messages of body positivity and self-love


Beauty, strength, determination and pride, these are the first words that come to mind when looking at this picture. Her name is Mahogany Geter, from Knoxville, Tennessee, she is 23 years old and she is a model. She was born with an illness called Lymphedema, an unusual condition that causes excess fluid. A fluid, in her case, collected in her left leg. As result, her leg adds 45kg to her body weight.

We all know how cruel and mean the Web can be sometimes. In fact, Mahogany affirmed that she receives regularly nasty and ignorant comments. People continuously make fun of her condition and tell her to amputate her leg “to look better”. In her younger age she suffered a lot too. “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”, she said in a “Love don’t judge” video. “Then I decided that I was given this condition because I am emotionally strong and I can handle it”. Today, Mahogany feels powerful and extremely proud of herself. She learnt to accept and celebrate herself. In addition, she counts with a huge online community and the support of her mother, which is always been her inspiration. For this reason she promised herself that she will never do anything drastic as amputate her leg.

As a fashion icon, she inspires many women in her same condition. She uses her disability to communicate a positive message: all bodies are beautiful. Using her own words: “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.”

Patricia Boateng

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