Here are a few common myths about disfigurement, which can hamper people’s opportunities at work.
Myth 1: People who look different should have plastic surgery to ‘fix’ them.
We’re told by the media that to be happy and successful means looking not just ‘ok’, but ‘great’. So why don’t people with disfigurements just have plastic surgery? Modern medicine and surgery can make some disfigurements less noticeable, but it usually isn’t possible to restore appearance completely. The decision to have surgery is personal and at some point the individual may actively choose to accept their appearance rather than try to change it.
Myth 2: A person with a disfigurement is frightening or ‘evil’.
The media and popular culture play a strong part in shaping our unconscious attitudes towards visible difference. ‘Evil’ characters in films, the media, and even fairy tales often are given disfigurements to suggest that they are villains or in some way untrustworthy. This contributes to unease around people who look different, and the irrational assumption that they are somehow ‘bad’.
Myth 3: People with disfigurements are less intelligent.
Sometimes people with disfigurements are treated as if they are less intelligent or have a learning difficulty. This is very rarely the case. In the workplace it’s vital not to make assumptions about someone’s talent, intelligence, capacity or ability based on the way they look.
For more useful information please visit Changing Faces here.
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