A man with a visible difference in a suit with his arms folded

Face Equality Week

Face Equality Week is an annual event that raises awareness about the prejudice experienced by too many people with visible differences. For 2021 it was 17 - 21 May.

Face Equality Week is a time to celebrate visible differences. The week is an opportunity for us to raise awareness of what needs to change so everyone with a visible difference or disfigurement can live the life they want to lead.  It’s simply not right that:

  • One in three people say that they feel depressed, sad or anxious as a result of having a visible difference.
  • Almost a quarter say they feel self-conscious or embarrassed going out in public as a result of their visible difference.

There’s nothing wrong with having a visible difference. It’s other people’s reactions that need to change, not me.

Ella, Changing Faces Campaigner

What happened during Face Equality Week 2021?

The theme for 2021 was education, which is key to helping people change their behaviour. Teaching children and young people in school to celebrate and value difference is the first step, but education goes beyond the classroom. That’s why we asked everyone to join us by:

Working in partnership with employers

We celebrated our Pledge To Be Seen partnerships with Avon and SleekMakeUP. Both organisations shared content across their social media channels, and Avon delivered bespoke Changing Faces training to their representatives in the UK.

We were also thrilled that IBM UK & Ireland and the Welsh Government both signed up to Pledge To Be Seen. We will be working with them to support their commitments.

I’m delighted to be leading the way as the first public body in Wales to sign the Pledge To Be Seen.

Permanent Secretary for the Welsh Government Dame Shan Morgan

Working with Face Equality International

Our campaigners Hannah and Atholl joined a Facebook Live event organised by Face Equality International, where activists from around the world discussed the topic of “Sharing your story to bring about change”.

Read the Independent’s article “Is it time to talk about face equality?”

It was great to share my story with my employer and get people talking about visible differences on social media. I think my phone has now just about stopped pinging with notifications every two minutes! I’m slightly taken aback by it, but it’s great that my tweet managed to spread so far.

Changing Faces campaigner, Peter.

Raising awareness

  • Our Face Equality Week video was widely shared across social media, thousands viewed our film, prompting comments and conversations.
  • Our campaigners got people talking about living life with a visible difference. Campaigner Peter shared his experiences with his employer and colleagues.
  • We held several virtual events, including a session with George Watson College in Edinburgh, where staff, pupils and parents heard from campaigner Rory about what it’s like to live with a visible difference.
  • Two of our campaigners’ stories were published in the news for the first time. Read:

Our campaigner and ambassador videos

Changing Faces campaigner Natalie shares her experience of living with vitiligo and the stares she receives as a result.

Adam, a Changing Faces ambassador, talks about the abuse he receives on social media because of his visual difference.

Ella is a Changing Faces campaigner. She explains the value of encouragement from fellow runners and how it’s refreshing that her appearance is not the topic of conversation.

Changing Faces campaigner Rory, who has a facial birthmark, talks about the questions and hurtful comments he often receives.

Thank you for getting involved and helping our campaigners to get more people talking about visible differences and disfigurements during Face Equality Week.

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Classroom and assembly resources

Our A World of Difference classroom and assembly resources have been created to help teachers deliver lessons about visible difference.

Hold a Face Equali-Tea Party

Hosting a Face Equali-Tea Party is a great way to connect with loved ones, enjoy a slice (or two) of cake, and raise vital funds for Changing Faces.