Woman shares her burn scars in incredible photoshoot to empower others
In June 2015, Lia Jiang's life changed forever.
She was at Formosa Fun Coast water park in New Taipei City, Taiwan when a massive explosion left 15 dead. Lia Jiang - and a reported 507 others - were injured.
Named "the worst incident of mass injury ever in New Taipei," the fire had broken out at a party where coloured powder was being thrown on people in the crowd. It turned out to be flammable and caught fire when it was blown over a hot electric light.
Many partygoers who had the powder on their skin suffered burns to their limbs and torso, while others in the 1,000 person crowd breathed in the substance, causing respiratory problems. Lia Jiang was left with burns to 91 per cent of her body, which is now covered in scarring.
However, after three years of hospital visits and 21 surgeries, in 2018, the 31-year-old decided to take part in an inspirational photoshoot that empowered all scar victims.
Photos of Lia went viral in December after the makeup artist who worked with her shared them to a popular private Taiwanese Facebook group. The incredible images, which show Jiang completely naked aside from some multi-coloured feather wings, began circulating again last week after Lia was interviewed by local outlet Apple Daily.
In an interview, the young woman admitted that she was initially nervous to do the shoot, but said she hoped to show the world another type of beauty.
"I was really nervous at first because it was such a big thing for me," Lia told BuzzFeed News. "But I eventually convinced myself that it would be a good way to commemorate my scars and to see it from an artistic perspective."
She added: "It was a really weird feeling when I first saw the finished product. I couldn't believe that we could take photos like these, and that they were photos of me. I believe that there are lots of people who are going through similar things to me in the world.
"I hope that I can show everyone through these photos that even though my skin is covered in scars, I can still be confident and convey a different idea of beauty."
After the pictures were released, Lia's courage and beauty was celebrated by hundreds of people online, with many sending her words of admiration and encouragment. "I'm so touched. Don't give up," one person wrote, while another told her: "Courage is the most beautiful makeup that you can wear. Don't give up."
"A phoenix rising from the ashes. Truly beautiful, especially a smile that radiates confidence," another person added.
I think we can all agree, Lia looks stunning! Her bravery is inspiring.