Updated: Jun 3, 2020
I’ve had some time to reflect over the past week as we advocate for individuals with facial differences. As I look at social media, and see all the gorgeous faces around the globe that most of society think of as “deformed” or “ugly”, I happened to see some of the prettiest humans alive! Face Equality Week has been more than about bringing awareness to those who have a facial difference. Face Equality Week is about those with a facial difference wanting equality in this world!
Like most people who have a facial difference, they hear comments and remarks. One phrase I remember hearing is “just because you are ugly does not mean the world owes you anything.” The person who told me that statement is correct, because the world does not owe me anything! Nor do I want an easy path because I look a bit different than others. Granted, my facial differences are not as pronounced as others. However, I do not use my difference to gain advantages, or to get a lighter workload. Normally, I try to go above and beyond what is expected of me because I feel people see my difference as a disability, and think my quality of work will reflect based off my appearance. However, I pride myself on taking ownership of an assignment! I go above what is expected, because I think people expect less of me based on how I appear. Notice the two key words; “I think.” The mind is a powerful tool. I seek empathy, not sympathy.
I think this statement is true; “people who have facial differences do not want to be treated differently, but as equals.” We want to be seen as equals by our classmates, co-workers, and society in general. Those of us who have facial differences do not seek the opinions of others, nor really care what their thoughts are regarding our appearances. If the world has taught us anything, it is that people will always have their own opinions.
The Face Equality Week Selfie Challenge was a challenge for me. The challenge required me to step outside of my comfort zone. I hate Selfies, and I hate making videos! However, if my photo or video is seen by hundreds of people on social media, then I did my job; bringing awareness for face equality! Don’t let the selfie challenge end just because Face Equality Week is over. Keep taking selfies and photos! Keep sharing and tagging Face Equality to keep awareness raised!