Yesterday, I had the most incredible opportunity to go to Parliament for Face Equality Day to hear about all the research that @ChangingFacesUK have done around people who live with facial disfigurement or those with visible differences.
86,000 people across the U.K. are affected by visible differences.
If we want to talk about body positivity, this is what we need to be talking about. We need to talk about the fact that 7/10 young people won’t be friends with someone with a visible difference.
Let’s think about this for a second. Kids aren’t just worried about themselves looking different, but they are so concerned with their friends making them stand out as well, that they isolate these young people. Add that on top of the fact that 6/10 people have taken a photo of a person with a visible difference without their permission.
Then add on top, the stares, the laughs, the comments, the giggles. I am in the privileged position where I can hide my scars but when they are visible everyday, that becomes your life.
People with visible differences not only face bullying and isolation in schools but discrimination in the work place with many unable to even get a job because of what they look like. They aren’t being judged on their experience or performance but instead their appearance.
This is the stuff we MUST care about if we say we care about body positivity.
This is what I believe body positivity is about.
The best part of this event was that it was led by all young people. They were given the time and space to speak for themselves. I will never forget the day I came back from hospital, age 7, and my dress was lifted up in front of the entire class to explain my scars to my teacher. It was one of the many reminders that my body was not mine. I had a voice back then, I had opinions back then and I wish we lived in a society that gave young people the credit they deserve to speak for themselves.
Thanks to @changingfacesuk , it’s events like this which make a difference and show how perfectly capable children are to speak for themselves! And thanks @phyllidaswift for the invite #FaceEquality #FaceEqualityDay
PS that’s why I was wearing a 🦋on my face