Our ambition is to create an enlightened society, which fully accepts and values people who have a disfigurement

Face equality in the media

In the media, disfigurement is often described with negative words and imagery. Words like ‘horrifically disfigured’, ‘grotesquely scarred’, ‘ugly birthmark’, and ‘misshapen head’ are commonly used.

Coverage also tends to be medicalised – people with disfigurements are often the subject of documentaries that present them as quirks of nature, abnormal or in need of surgery. They are rarely seen in soaps, game shows or as incidental characters in drama or comedy. In film, disfigurement is often used as a device to portray evil personality traits in the characters involved, like Freddie Kreuger in ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’, or the countless villains in James Bond (and other) films.

Advertisements for cosmetic surgery and the beauty industry portray scars, blemishes and other forms of disfigurement as unsightly and to be removed.

Those that get it right in the media, advertising and film in relation to portrayals of disfigurement make sure that they

  • are informed about the causes and effects of disfigurement
  • have an open mind about the life and prospects of people with disfigurements
  • develop films, programmes and adverts in partnership with organisations like Changing Faces and people who have disfigurements themselves

What we do

  • Support adults, children and families to live confident, happy lives
  • Train health care professionals to provide our unique package of support alongside medical treatment or surgery
  • Educate and inform businesses, the NHS and public bodies, schools, and the media to develop new beliefs, expectations and practices
  • Influence opinion formers in parliament and government to ensure our important message is heard
  • Challenge the public and policy makers to think differently and create a fair society
  • Stand up to prejudice wherever it appears, strengthening the case for face equality