The Blind Side

5 Jul

“I’m very thick-skinned. Some people have tried to make this something it’s not – black/white, rich/poor – why do they have to label it? But I don’t care, it’s partly true – I do tend to vote Republican and I do carry a gun wherever I go” – Leigh Anne Tuohy

Before I begin I just want to apologise for my lack of attendance lately…I have been in the middle of starting a new job and in the middle of moving house. My life affairs have been up in the air and my personal belongings have been split across two houses.  I realise you all don’t wish to hear about my life story but I feel a duty towards the readers of Yellow Bunting to explain my lack of involvement.

The books I have read about being a writer have always said that a physical and a mental space to write is the most fundamental aspect of success and because of the hassle of moving out and being sad that the time of living with my best friends for four years has come to an end my writing has taken a back seat but don’t fret I have my computer set up in the office, a comfy chair, the rain is pattering on the window and I am ready to pull myself back together!

Anyway, enough about the minor details that have no relevance to this article’s topic, which by the way is about a lady called Leigh Anne Tuohy.

Before reading ahead into why she is in my Most Inspiring Women feature, just Google her name and take a brief look at images or her website. DON’T READ IN DETAIL JUST YET! Make a note of your first impressions of her, her job, her money and the way she looks. Judging by these features she just appears to be a typical suburban, middle class American wife. Right?

Wrong.

Leigh Anne Tuohy is in fact so much more than that and if I told you that Sandra Bullock’s character in the film The Blind Side is based on her, would that make her seem like a different person? Or for those of you who have never seen the film/heard of it then read on and find out how amazing this woman is.

Leigh Anne is a Memphis, Tennessee resident and she attended Briarcrest Christian School and graduated from the University of Mississippi with a degree in Interior Design. She met her husband Sean Tuohy and they went on to build a very successful life together. Her Interior Design business has taken off and she is featured in ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Leigh Anne Tuohy was the daughter of a US Marshal and she lived the typical life of an all American cheerleader; a member of the Kappa Delta, married a basketball player, started a successful business and lived happily ever after in a nice big house with their two perfect children. Life was perfect for her.

However, unlike others in her position of having everything she could have wished for, she didn’t forget for one second that there are people out there with next to nothing…

Like Michael Oher.

One day Tuohy and her family were on their way home during the winter and spotted Michael Oher walking alone in shorts and a t shirt. Instead of continuing their journey home she asked her husband to pull over and she asked where he was going and ended up giving him a lift to the bus station and she soon found out his story was a cover up and he was from a sad background of neglect, loneliness and violence.

Untitled1A couple of weeks later she had him temporarily move into the family home and sometime after, she asked him to become a part of their family so they became Michael’s legal guardians. Since then he has graduated from university and plays professional American football.

That’s all there is to it…and I know you’re thinking, is that it?

Compared to the other women I have written about, her story is simple and some of you may be thinking about why she qualifies as an inspiration.

However, for me it’s the simplicity of her story that makes her such an inspiration. She grew up as the daughter of a conservative Republican father but she defied the values of her upbringing and made her own decisions based on what she thought was right. Leigh Anne Tuohy changed the life of a hopeless kid with no direction or any sense of belonging and she says “he had a much greater impact on our lives than we did on his life.”

Untitled2Despite the shortness of her story, and the fact that her family are arguably just as insignificant as the rest of us in the grand scheme of things, the ability for her to see past her perfect family bubble and notice Michael’s struggles has reached out to me on a more personal level and perhaps that’s why I think she deserves her place in this article. Whether I’m alone in this thought is irrelevant, I think she is amazing.

“I think women have to wear a lot of different hats. Not only do you have to be the mother the nuturerer, but also the wife and the housekeeper and now, so many have to and want to have a career. So, you have to wear a lot of hats. I’m not a big women’s liberation person — not at all — but I do think right now, women have to contribute to all facets.” – Leigh Anne Tuohy

To read an interview with Leigh Anne herself please click here.

Melody has just finished a degree in Journalism, Film and Media with a 2:1. She aspires to work with vulnerable women and children subject to domestic, and or other forms of abuse. She is an animal lover and has a small obsession with Fearne Cotton. She is a constant joker and can be found on Twitter.

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