Face equality is about being treated fairly and equally irrespective of facial appearance

Face Equality Day


About Face Equality

Face equality is about being treated fairly and equally irrespective of facial appearance, creating a society in which everyone is valued for the unique contribution that they can make.

The campaign aims to

  • raise awareness of our unconscious beliefs about disfigurement that can result in prejudice and discrimination
  • encourage people, organisations and the government to tackle such beliefs and attitudes and make a commitment to face equality
  • help everyone learn new ways of thinking and behaving towards people with disfigurements.

We are calling on

  • individuals to spread the word, stand out and support face equality
  • health and social care professionals to develop services that treat patients with disfigurement as having psychological and social as well as medical needs
  • the education system to ensure that all staff are adequately trained to develop a culture and practice of inclusion for people with disfigurements
  • employers to create a culture and practice of face equality for people with disfigurements as employees and customers
  • the media, advertisers and the film industry to adopt factual and unbiased portrayals of disfigurement – actively avoiding language and imagery that creates prejudice
  • politicians and policy makers to ensure that facial prejudice and discrimination are effectively outlawed by improving anti-discrimination law and promoting best practice

Why face equality matters

We commissioned independent research to investigate people’s attitudes towards disfigurement. When directly questioned the vast majority said that they did not discriminate against people based on their facial appearance. However an Implicit Attitude Test taken in 2008 revealed that nine out of ten people held negative attitudes towards people who have disfigurements. But when this was taken again in 2017, it was revealed that two-thirds still hold negative bias in comparison.

Many of these attitudes are unintentional and unwitting but still result in prejudice and discrimination against people with disfigurements in the way that

  • they are treated at work
  • they are treated at school
  • they are portrayed in the media, film and advertising
  • people react to them when they are out in public.

This has huge practical implications for those who live with disfigurements, who might currently assume that they will not get front line jobs, go to university, or even be able to walk down the street without being stared at.