Before leaving the house, most of us glance at our reflection. It is often a cursory check to ensure there is nothing that would invite a second glance on the street. But what if there is?
Whenever Tulsi Vagjiani, 39, leaves her London home, she says she must take a moment “to check in with myself to see how I am going to handle staring or comments”.
When she was 10, a plane crash killed her immediate family and left her with secondand third-degree burns to 45 per cent of her face and body. People have stared and commented ever since.
For more than 25 years, Changing Faces – the UK’S leading charity for everyone with a mark, scar or condition that makes them look different – has worked to alter these perceptions.
The charity provides lifechanging advice and support for people with a visible difference, through counselling, networks and skin camouflage services – and carries out crucial advocacy work calling for societal change.
Over the past year, Changing Faces has supported some 21,000 people with a visible difference. Among them is Rory Mcguire, 24, who suffered depression in his late teens because of a birthmark on his face. Thanks to the work of Changing Faces, he is now looking forward a career in acting.
With your donations, Changing Faces will be able to increase its advice and support services and networks. It will also expand its network of young media and advocacy champions, empowering them to tell their stories.
We may not be able to stop every stare or comment, but we can ensure everyone plays their part in changing the world for the better.