(iWIDK By Allie Beauregard) – A not-so-average cover girl used her close up to spread awareness – and finally feels beautiful inside and out.
Bibi Aisha, the once child-bride to a Taliban militant leader in Afghanistan, received intensive plastic surgery on her face this week, replacing the nose and ears she lost to torturous abuse in her home village for years before she was rescued and brought to America in 2010, where she was photographed for the front page of TIME magazine.
After escaping her husband and his violent family who essentially enslaved her, Aisha, believed to be about 21 years old now, was captured and brought back where she received the mutilating attacks that left her face in its infamous condition.
Aisha was luckily taken to a women’s shelter, a rare commodity even while abuse to women by the Taliban was aggressively being controlled.
It was at the shelter that she was first photographed - and instantly became the face of Western support overseas.
Surgeons wished to give her plastic surgery upon her arrival to the states, where she was placed with the Maryland Afghan family she still resides with today.
The horrors that Aisha lived through, however, left her in a real-life nightmare that, at times, almost became suicidal.
Two years later she was believed to be mentally stable enough to endure the eight hour surgery, using extra skin from her arm to replace the missing flesh on her face.
Now, she has gone from the face of abuse to the face of empowerment.
Said post-surgery Aisha to CNN, reported by the Telegraph, “I have to live, and I have to love.”