Model Who Lost Her Leg To Toxic Shock Explains What Confidence Really Means

Fullscreen on YouTube

Lauren Wasser is a survivor. She wasn't born with a particularly tough skin, either — she's earned it.

Today, Wasser can be seen in modeling campaigns for brands like Nordstrom and Kenneth Cole. In 2012, however, she was laying feebly in a hospital bed suffering from Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a condition that comes from some bacterial infections.

That's right: She experienced the not-so-mythical tampon illness all our mothers warned us about and lost part of her right leg as a result. A few of her left toes are gone, too.

In a newly-released episode of "What's Underneath," the mother-daughter sponsored video project that invites influencers to strip down and discuss all the ways in which style is more than clothing, Wasser opens up about her life now. She emphasizes the importance of keeping her eyes on the future.

Agonizing about what her career could have been with two legs doesn't serve any practical purpose. While the full episode is exclusively available through video-streaming app Fullscreen, even the trailer for Wasser's episode is powerful.

The model explains,

I can't think about what I had because me doing that is just going backwards. I'm trying to move forward.

What's more, Wasser's dedicated her life to spreading the word about Toxic Shock and its dangers. She even shares the stories of women like her, who've sacrificed their health in an attempt to care for their periods.

Asked about what her life would be like if nothing had changed, Wasser has a quick response.

She says,

My heart wouldn't be full. I wouldn't feel like I'm doing good.

Interestingly, Wasser told Vogue it wasn't until she switched from a natural-looking prosthesis to a flashy gold shade that the leg really became her own.

Confidence takes many different shapes. Sometimes, it's even gold.

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