22-Year-Old With Cancer Slays Hospital Stays Through the Power of Makeup
Meet Amanda Ramirez. She’s a 22-year-old who’s been using her mad beauty skills to get herself through grueling rounds of chemo treatment for lymphoma — and has inspired thousands of Instagram followers along the way.
A photo posted by God's Girl???? (@comptonsveryown_) on Dec 20, 2016 at 12:11pm PST
“I’ve always been a makeup enthusiast,” Ramirez, of Compton, Calif., tells Yahoo Beauty. “I began learning makeup on my own at the age of 19, and ever since then I fell in love with the art of beauty. I was definitely like this prior to the cancer, and it’s helped me immensely with dealing with my treatment. When you look beautiful you feel beautiful.”
A photo posted by God's Girl???? (@comptonsveryown_) on Nov 30, 2016 at 11:05am PST
Diagnosed with stage-3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma in August after fainting and temporarily losing her vision, Ramirez bravely began sharing her journey on Instagram, where her number of followers soon doubled to more than 25,200. Her posts range from close-ups of her flawlessly made-up face and beautiful bald head (often with a peek of her hospital gown or a chemo port in the pic) to shots of her striking poses with folks including her kind-faced mom, who is in assisted living…
You're all that matters and it's hard to keep this a secret but it's what's best.????
A photo posted by God's Girl???? (@comptonsveryown_) on Nov 1, 2016 at 11:32am PDT
…and her loyal chemo companion and BFF (and fellow slayer of beauty) Waylette Thomas.
A photo posted by God's Girl???? (@comptonsveryown_) on Nov 29, 2016 at 5:45pm PST
On Monday, Ramirez posted a major highlight — a pic of herself sandwiched between her “two all-time favorite artists” Kehlani and SZA:
@justsza called me pretty and I didn't know how to act ???? I'm really in here with my 2 all time favorite artists ???????? @kehlani
A photo posted by God's Girl???? (@comptonsveryown_) on Dec 18, 2016 at 8:39pm PST
“I had tweeted Kehlani, and a friend of mine was persistently tweeting her to notice me, and she did. She then followed my Twitter and messaged me. She’s one my favorite artists and people, so I was extremely humbled when she told me she admired my strength and determination,” says Ramirez, who explained that Kehlani invited her backstage at her recent Santa Ana Observatory concert. “It was the best night of my life.”
Thank you for tonight Wavy Baby???? @kehlani lmfaoooo and yes I put them lashes and finishing touches on her face ????
A photo posted by God's Girl???? (@comptonsveryown_) on Dec 18, 2016 at 8:30pm PST
Ramirez, who is halfway through her 12-cycle chemo regimen, gets admitted to the hospital for a few days each time. “All the nurses and doctors smile and tell me that I’m the strongest girl they’ve ever met,” she says. “‘How do you look this good in a hospital?’ they say. They’re all very supportive. They think I’m beautiful and I’m thankful.”
This is my number one supporter, she's so loving and oh so very sweet. Everyone meet my Oncologist Dr. Amy Wang, she's so amazing! According to her she's never seen anyone fight like me, and honestly it means so much. She's been here since I got diagnosed and I'm blessed to have a strong beautiful woman as my doctor! Shoutout to you Amizzle Da Docta! Love you and thank you for believing in me ????
A photo posted by God's Girl???? (@comptonsveryown_) on Oct 14, 2016 at 2:53pm PDT
She has also used her Instagram page to fight back against size-ism, as she did with this brave post about embracing her body image:
No I'm not what conventional beauty defines, but I exude confidence and that no one can deny. From my short neck, to my arm rolls, to my big belly and cellulite by my physical features I am not defined. I am beautiful because I accept my flaws and try my best everyday, I'm beautiful because I've learned to love the skin I'm in. I'm beautiful because for every 100 negative comments I get I can still look in the mirror and feel validated within myself. Love who you are. #beautywithoutsize #effyourbeautystandards #goldenconfidence #celebratemysize #plusmodelmag ????
A photo posted by God's Girl???? (@comptonsveryown_) on Oct 2, 2016 at 10:56pm PDT
“Self-confidence came from years of learning about myself and learning to love who I am,” she tells Yahoo Beauty. “For years I was bullied and fat-shamed, but I took the initiative to say enough! I’m beautiful regardless of my size, and it does not define me, nor anyone else for that matter. It’s important to me, because loving yourself is important — it’s vital to your well-being.” When her treatments are over, she hopes to pursue a career in plus-size modeling and hopefully work with a cancer association and to “help build confidence and character in young plus-size girls.”
Before her diagnosis, this chemo warrior was working as a cashier at a food kiosk in a Los Angeles airport. She’s been unable to work since her diagnosis and has set up a GoFundMe page to help her along in the meantime. “There’s a constant feeling of worry that plagues my mind,” she wrote on the fundraising page. “I’m extremely positive, despite the way I physically feel; my mental state is very intact. There are days where I want to give up, but there are many people that look to me for comfort and assurance. I realize that it’s bigger than me; God has given me this to show the world that you can be fierce and strong while having a bit of vulnerability. I hope to inspire and help those who don’t feel they can go on with something that weighs on the heart so heavily.”
Her posts have brought out love and support from thousands, with fans calling her “so beautiful,” “so strong,” “gorgeous,” and “a beacon in this scary world.” We have to agree.
"You ugly, you fat, don't chemo make you skinny ?, you an attention whore, just die already" me @ all your ugly comments cus I'm blessed and happy, not to mention I've helped thousands of women understand self love ???? #mood
A video posted by God's Girl???? (@comptonsveryown_) on Oct 24, 2016 at 3:27pm PDT
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