This charity looks brilliant, and their website is very informative. Seriously, though, what sort of person thinks it's ok to judge people on their appearance? I've never ever judged someone by a disfigurement or the way they look - I choose my friends on what's on the inside, but these tips for people who don't want to cause offence are useful. WHile I don't have a disfigurement, I do look unusual and get the same old questions ALL THE TIME.
I am mixed race and usually get asked where I'm from. When I reply "Leicester", people usually assume I haven't understood the question and say, "but where are you FROM?" My heart goes out to anyone who has to deal with it on the scale mentioned on this website....
Meeting someone with an unusual appearance for the first time?
Find out how to behave to avoid unintentionally hurting people's feelings.
Don’t know where to look?
Look them in the eye, just as you would anyone else. Or, if it’s hard, look at the bridge of the nose, it has the same effect.
Worried you might be staring?
It’s ok to be interested in someone’s face, in fact it’s normal. But imagine what it feels like to be stared at every day. Just be sure you’re not too interested.
Don’t know what to say?
Say ‘hello.’ Talk about the weather, what’s happening in the news – engage in normal conversation.
Express interest in something about them, for example, ‘You’re my first customer today, what can I get you?’
Don’t make ‘what happened to you?’ be the first question you ask – wait until you know someone better or they bring it up in the conversation.
If you are still curious, ask ‘do you mind if I ask what happened?’ – but be prepared for the fact that they may not want to answer.
Don’t know what to do?
Shake hands, if appropriate. Nod your head in acknowledgement.
"Don't let the way I look affect the way you see me. I've got loads of interesting features, my face is just one of them."