Facial Equality Day 2019 is the UK’s only campaign to ensure that everyone is treated fairly and equally whatever the appearance of their face or body. This year’s theme focuses on adults with a visible difference.
As you know, I have always been very open about my experiences of having psoriasis on my face and having a visible difference.
To mark the occasion, Changing Faces will be publishing brand new research into the experiences of those who have a visible difference about key issues including employment, health and wellbeing, dating and relationships
The key findings of the #MyVisibleDifference Changing Faces and ComRes survey of over a 1,000 people with a visible difference by charity Changing Faces reveals:
- One in three people say that they feel depressed, sad or anxious as a result of having a visible difference
- Six in ten people have experienced hostile behaviour from strangers
- Almost a quarter say they feel self-conscious or embarrassed going out in public as a result of their visible difference
- A third say that their employers have not been effective in preventing discrimination against them in the workplace
- Only a quarter of people with a visible difference form friendships or relationships through school, education or work
- Two-thirds of people do not think visible differences are represented well in adverts
The findings of the report released on Facial Equality Day 2019 have confirmed what many people with a visible difference tell Changing Faces regularly, that they are frequently stared at, pointed at and even have their photo taken by people when they are out in public. They can often feel isolated as a result and being excluded or abused can make people isolate themselves even more.
What we’ve found though, is that if we can educate people about looking different and the impact of appearance-related bullying, whether at school, in the workplace or in public, then attitudes change. That’s why we want schools across the UK using our new resources to raise awareness about visible difference and employers tackling discrimination in the workplace and providing training for staff.
Brands and the media have a responsibility to represent people with a visible difference better and truly reflect real life. So that we see more people who look different in brand campaigns, across the media and in popular culture.
By Face Equality Day 2020 Changing Faces want to see:
- 20 brands sign their Pledge To Be Seen and commit to better representing people with a visible difference
- Schools across the UK using Changing Faces new resources to raise awareness about visible difference and appearance-related bullying
- Employers tackling appearance-related discrimination in the workplace and providing training for staff
- More police forces and other agencies committing to raising awareness of appearance-related hate crime and improve reporting procedures for victims
- Improved access to wellbeing care for people with visible differences.
Changing Faces will continue to put people with visible differences at the heart of our service development to ensure we remain responsive to current and future need.
To get involved in Facial Equality 2019 and help Changing Faces with their action points, please visit their website here.