As a little girl, I used to wonder why people were made differently. Why were some people taller and some shorter? Why did some people have freckles while others did not? Differences fascinated me because they allowed each person to have their own unique look.
I always knew that I was a little more different than most people but it never bothered me. I was always taught that each person is beautiful in their own way, so I didn't think there was a problem with being different... It just meant that I was special. Sadly, not everyone thought in the same way I did.
I was born with Moebius Syndrome, which causes a facial paralysis and other health side effects. Due to my syndrome, I cannot smile, close my lips fully, move my eyes laterally, and I don't have facial expressions. When I began school, I soon realized that kids saw my differences as something negative. They would bully me by calling me awful things, giving me rude nicknames, and ridiculing me whenever they had the chance. As I grew up, I faced a lot of rejection from my peers and found it difficult to form meaningful friendships.
I no longer thought being different was cool or special. There was one thought that kept repeating itself in my head.
"What if the world was Faceless? What if we lived in a world that didn't judge others based on their outer appearance and would care about what someone has inside their heart instead?"
A Faceless world was just a fantasy that would later become a dream.
The Story That Inspired a Change
As the years have passed, I have found strength in my parents, family, and in my faith. I realized that I'm beautiful just the way I am and I wouldn't want to change anything about myself. I love myself as I am and all I've gone through has given me thicker skin. I have developed a good self-esteem that can't be knocked down so easily.
The thing I didn't realize is that there are so many people out there with disabilities that struggle. But one day, I stumbled upon a story...
A mother of a teen with Moebius was sharing a story on Facebook about an experience her daughter went through. Her daughter loved soccer, so she decided to sign up for an all-girls soccer team. During her time on the team, her team mates would ignore her and give her weird looks. The final strike came when the team won their first game against another school. The team and their parents all went out to get pizza to celebrate, but they didn't let the girl with Moebius sit with them. She was so heartbroken that she decided to quit the team and give up on soccer because those girls in that soccer team had been so cruel.
I started reading other stories from people with all kinds of disabilities and realized that they all have stories of incredible strength and perseverance. Stories where they talk about being neglected, misunderstood, and hurt by the world's perception of them. I knew that there had to be a way that the world could change. A way to make the world a little more Faceless.
The Creation of Faceless
With years of thought and planning, I started working on a new social media platform where people could be accepted and welcomed regardless of their ethnicity, gender, religion, race, or disability. A place where anyone that has ever felt like they don't belong can find a place filled with love and compassion.
I released Faceless, an ad-free social media platform one a week ago. When you sign up, you have to sign the Faceless pledge where you promise to treat everyone on the platform with kindness and respect. Faceless encourages its users to lead with compassion, create with purpose, and own their stories. Faceless users can join different channels, follow other members, and post on the main feed. Users can post text, pictures, questions, polls, and articles.
My goal is for Faceless to have its own app someday, but app development takes time and a lot of money. For now, you can go to facelessme.com or use Faceless through the Mighty Networks app.
I encourage everyone to create an account and make a post introducing yourself and your story! With each member that signs up for an account and participates in the network, we are one step closer to a Faceless world.
Make sure to check out Faceless!
Also, watch a short video about Faceless below: