Your face is the first thing other people see when they meet you, which is why facial disfigurement is so devastating. It’s not just the physical difference that sets us apart, it’s also the psychological damage it causes us.
That facial difference saps our confidence, fills us with fear, and if we cannot deal with it, limits our horizons. People point and stare when they see us, perhaps they say rude things, even shout abuse. We react by staying at home, shunning the company of others, stay clear of crowds, and deny ourselves the opportunity to seek partners.
I have written a lot about how my face dictated my life and the damage it caused. Others I met down the years also struggled to come to terms with facial disfigurement. Some never do.
I wont debate here the merits of the argument that it must be harder for women with facial disfigurement than men. That’s a topic for another day. But anything that helps people rebuild their lives is brilliant as far as I’m concerned. Which is why I’m asking you to check out the new Channel 4 series Katie Piper Face to Face next Tuesday, April 11, at 10pm.
Katie Piper was the victim of an acid attack some years ago. She could have retreated from the outside world, but instead she rebuilt her life, presented several terrific TV series and established the Katie Piper Foundation. She wrote about her experiences in two books, and has written several other books of inspiration. Now happily married, she has an adorable daughter. How she manages to do all that is nothing short of amazing.
I met Katie a couple of years ago. She sent me a signed copy of one of her books, and has occasionally shared my blog posts. She’s a giver and a wonderful human being.
In Katie’s new series makeup artists and beauticians get to work on the faces of women who have skin conditions like eczema or vitiligo or are acid attack survivors. Apart from showing the women how the right makeup can alter not just their faces, but give them that ring of confidence, the big reveal is that the makeup artists and beauticians have the same conditions.
I watched the trailer today and it promises to be a great series. Don’t forget to check it out.