MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - "A lot of times, I tell them I got attacked by a shark," laughs Pamela when asked about her response to people when they ask her what happened to her arms or legs. Pamela Reynolds is your typical high school student. She loves spending time with her friends, plays five sports and even lifeguards.
However, when Pamela was a baby, she had to have her legs and a few of her fingers amputated due to Meningitis, a disease that infects the fluid around the brain and spinal cord. Pamela says that even though she has her prosthetics, she was able to grow up with a very strong self-image. Pamela says her twin sister Suzanne is and always has been "a major support system, and my best friend." In addition to Pamela's twin, Pamela's parents always told her she was perfect just the way she was, and because of this support, Pamela has always been a confident young woman. Clarke Reynolds, Pamela's father, says he "always told both his daughters they can do anything they wanted to do," and that he never babied Pamela or treated her any different than her twin, Suzanne.
Pamela's confidence shines through the moment you meet her. So, it is no surprise that she was recently featured in the "Perfectly Me" campaign for Seventeen magazine. A representative from Instagram says "Perfectly Me" is a celebration of communities that are redefining body standards, inspiring confidence and building a culture of positivity. The initiative, a collaboration between Instagram and Seventeen shines a spotlight on this important topic and showcases journeys of self-acceptance.
The four key messages of this campaign are outlined in Visual Storytelling, Community, Support, and Ongoing Commitment. In addition, this campaign is showcased through Instagram, and is committed to keeping the platform a safe as well as, supportive place for expression.
Pamela says when this campaign launched, "I was so happy, when I read it, I was just so proud of all the girls I worked with, too." Pamela knows how it feels to be judged and counted out because of her prosthetics, but she will tell you, her body can do what anyone else's can, and a lot of times, it can do it even better. You can catch Pamela, as well as five other young women featured in the November issue of Seventeen.
So, today, post a photo on Instagram that represents your most #PerfectlyMe self. Make sure to use the hashtag and keep inspiring young women all over the world to be confident. So young women, Pamela says, "Please don't be afraid to be yourself and use your confidence to conquer everyday situations and walk with pride" as she does.