#PledgeToBeSeen: a call for brands to represent more people with a visible difference

Changing Faces’ research shows that 54% of people feel that those with visible differences are regularly ignored by brands. That’s why we’ve launched the #PledgeToBeSeen campaign, which is calling on companies and brands to represent more people with a visible difference.

I was working in a shop when a woman I was serving said, “I thought you had to be pretty to work in here.” I was comfortable with my psoriasis, but her comments broke me. I became very insecure, constantly felt like everyone was looking at me, and all this resulted in my depression and anxiety getting much worse. – Jude

What is #PledgeToBeSeen?

One in five people in the UK identify as having a visible difference, such as a mark, scar or condition that affects their appearance. But despite this, more than half of those who responded to Changing Faces’ independent research with ComRes said that people with visible differences are regularly ignored by brands.

It’s time for people with a visible difference to be seen and heard. That’s why Changing Faces has launched #PledgeToBeSeen, which is our call to companies and brands to represent more people with a visible difference.

#PledgeToBeSeen will take place during Face Equality Week, week commencing 18 May 2020. We are aiming to have at least 20 companies signed up by this time.

Find out more

Why this matters

People with a visible difference contend with stares, comments and bullying because of how they look. They tell us they feel excluded and isolated from public life, rarely seeing anyone who looks like them in the media, adverts and campaigns. In addition:

  • One in three say that they feel depressed, sad or anxious as a result of having a visible difference; and
  • Two in five say that they have felt judged by potential employers and have not applied to certain roles because of their appearance.

I had an interview at a company that fitted satellite dishes and TV aerials, where the man said “I can’t employ you. I couldn’t send you out to a customer with a face like that.” – Phil

What companies and brands can do about it

We are calling on companies and brands to sign up for #PledgeToBeSeen. You can change the lives of people like Jude and Phil by representing more people with a visible difference in your communications.

Companies who sign up commit to:

  1. Publicly sharing news of your pledge;
  2. Representing more people with a visible difference in your campaigns (advertising, PR and recruitment) in the next 12 months;
  3. Communicating your pledge internally as part of your commitment to an inclusive workplace.

Fill in this form to sign up for #PledgeToBeSeen or to find out more information.

Sign up now

How individuals can help

Anyone can support this campaign simply by encouraging your employer to sign up for #PledgeToBeSeen.

We recommend you email your human resources or diversity and inclusion manager explaining why you think this campaign matters and sharing a link to this page on our website.

Employers should not judge your capability for a job based on your looks. And, if anything, diversity should be celebrated more in the work place, as we can all bring our backgrounds and unique qualities to create a strong team. – Shankar

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Phil talks about the discrimination he has experienced during his career.

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