Last month, Changing Faces launched their first ever Face Equality Day, a major milestone for the charity who recently celebrated their 25th anniversary. Formed to raise awareness and ‘remind’ us to be respectful to people regardless of their appearance, it was a day that would collectively bring people together across the UK, to show support and unity for those with a disfigurement.
The support was outstanding. Butterfly’s, created as the emblem for the day, were worn and later shared on social media and a number of events took place nationwide to make sure the message reached far and wide! The report itself entitled ‘Disfigurement in the UK’ was published on the 26th May, now officially Face Equality Day.
The report, based on a survey of more than 800 people, revealed some shocking findings that related to all areas of life, for example, four fifths of those with a disfigurement have avoided applying for a job because they believed their appearance would hinder them at the interview, whilst more than four fifths of people have experienced harassment from a stranger or unpleasantness relating to their appearance. The report was proof that things need to change.
I remember completing the questionnaire at the beginning of the year. The in depth survey really got me thinking about my personal attitude to my skin and how I managed situations where people would question what had happened to my skin. Whilst I feel fortunate that I have overcome a number of challenges and now fully embrace who I am with Vitiligo, every time I submitted an answer to a question, I thought about others who were doing the exact same task, who weren’t so confident about being different and still felt discriminated against because of a condition they have. A painful reality…
To coincide with Face Equality Day, I was asked to speak with the lovely Jenny Campbell, an award winning poet and short story writer, and who runs a very successful YouTube channel. We had a chat about Disfigurement and its representation in the media….click the link to find out what I think about the media and how it portrays people who are different…..
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