The definition of fearless

Sofia Quintero, Photo by Cosmo for Latinas

Today, I am thinking about being fearless and what that means.

I understand the basic concept, to act without fear.  Fearless is acting in the face of fear, giving it the middle fear, and defying it. This I understand; there are several examples I can cite from the top of my head.

But what does it truly mean to be fearless?

I asked my friends this question and a couple of them gave me answers. Some were just being “smart”:
[View the story “What does it mean to be fearless? ” on Storify]

I think fearless doesn’t have a definition. Instead, it is a list of people who are tested and rise to the occasion. These are people who are made of steel, though they may not know it.

I think Sofia Quintero is fearless.

I must disclose that I don’t know Sofia personally. We know some of the same people in a seven-degrees-of-Kevin-Bacon way. But I know of her and I follow her on all the appropriate social media platforms. Obviously, she is a writer and an artist.

I learned that she had breast cancer in a round about way. I think it was during one of the times I went peeking on people’s profiles and pages on Facebook.  It’s one of those things where you have five minutes to kill before a meeting so you’re wondering who are these wonderful people who don’t have to go into that meeting.  Anyway, I saw a picture of this beautiful woman without any hair. It took me some time to realize that it was Sofia. I wondered if her baldness was something that was in protest of something or maybe a Locks of Love type of thing.

I was wrong. I knew I was, but I wanted to explain away the image in front of me.

Photo by Cosmo for Latinas

She was diagnosed with cancer in Jan. 2012.  She faced something that has claimed so many women and men, has changed their lives, has changed or scared them in a way few bounce back from.

Did I mention that in that picture she was smiling?

As I dug more, I saw she was writing personal essays about her cancer journey for Cosmo for Latinas. (Which I have yet to get since I live in Louisiana. I don’t get Latina either. But that’s another blogpost.)

I read her first easy and she wrote something extremely profound:

We always know the truth because the body is a terrible liar.


How many people would have chosen to believe the lie? I would have. I would have told myself that those lumps in my breasts were nothing. I’d hold on to that lie until my insides were rotted through because it’s easier to believe the lie. The lie is beautiful.

That’s not what a fearless person does. They knew the score, the consequences, and know they may not make it but they fight like hell. They. Fight. Like. Hell. Are they afraid? Yes. I’m sure they are scared beyond belief.  They are fearless because they are not afraid to fight. That’s what fearless means.

For me, an athlete, a singer/rapper, a movie star may make the pages of magazines and grace blogs, but who I want to know about are fearless women like Sofia. They set the gold standard for the rest of us mortals.

And it’s that gold standard that we all should try to achieve.

Maybe fearless does have a definition. Maybe the folks at Webster’s should make room for Sofia’s picture right next to it.

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