Gabrielle Giffords Smiling in New Photos

Gabrielle Giffords Smiling in New Photos

The just-released pictures of a smiling Gabrielle Giffords are truly inspiring.

But it's also clear that Giffords has a long way to go.

Her blonde hair is now brown with gray flecks and cut short. She wears glasses instead of contacts.

The pictures were taken a month ago and have not been re-touched. There is a small scar on Giffords's forehead where the gunman's bullet exited her skull.

You can also clearly see the tracheotomy scar on her throat.

A depression on the left side of her head was likely caused by muscle damage and her left eye seems to be smaller than her right.

"There are several nerves that go into that area of the eye, one of which goes over the top of the eyebrow, and that can be damaged," says neurosurgeon Dr. Douglas Cohen.

On NBC's Meet the Press, Giffords's closest friend in Congress, Florida Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz, spoke for the entire nation.

"You can just see how beautiful she is and we are longing an dlooking forward to her coming back to us," she said.

Jared Loughner, the man accused of shooting Giffords and killing six others, has been declared incompetent to stand trial. A judge will revisit his condition in about four months.