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A Few Things To Consider When Meeting Someone With A Facial Difference

Feeling like an outsider is a universal experience, one that most of us have encountered at least once in our lives. Whether it's starting a new job, a new school, or being left out in your friend group, these situations can cause even the most secure person to feel like an outsider. It's a feeling we can all relate to, regardless of our differences.


When meeting someone with a facial difference, it's important to remember that we are more alike than you might think. Our hair color, skin tone, and style can make us different, and so can our facial appearance. But deep down, we share common experiences and emotions. We worry and rejoice about excelling at school, finding employment, dating, relationships, or parenthood. People with facial differences might feel like outsiders and forced to work exceptionally hard to fit in anywhere, but we share these common struggles and aren’t too far from being like you. 


It's essential to understand that having a facial difference is not a choice. It's a reality that people with facial anomalies or those who have experienced facial disfigurement due to burns, cancer, accidents, or war have to live with. They, like all of us, have their own wishes and dreams, and this aspect of their lives might be something they wish could be different. They don't require your empathy or compassion, but they don't need unkind assumptions about their intelligence, personalities, or abilities, either. 


We use words like “ugly” and “beautiful” regularly to describe someone. These words are used loosely when discussing people in our day-to-day lives. We are fixated on appearance, and we have strayed away from what can make someone “ugly”— having a mean spirit.

When interacting with someone with a facial difference, it's not about avoiding terms like 'ugly' or 'beautiful.' It's about redefining our understanding of beauty. Let's be more intentional with our words, recognizing that beauty transcends physical appearance. It's about the unique qualities that make each of us who we are. Let’s celebrate that diversity!


As we approach Face Equality Week from May 12 - 19, let's reflect on this year's theme, 'My Face Is A Masterpiece'. This theme encourages us to appreciate the unique beauty in each of our faces, regardless of any differences. Let's celebrate the diversity that makes our world so rich and beautiful. 



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FACES: The National Craniofacial Association
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