Cranio-Facial Conditions Acceptance: Face Equality International · Smile Train · FACES National Craniofacial Assn. · CCA Kids.org · My Face.org · American Cleft-Palate/CranioFacial Assn.
Despite saying that “we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover,” the reality is that appearance does affect how we perceive and interact with one another. A study done in Taiwan showed that:
Of those who were once treated differently, two thirds said the impact was negative (loss of self-confidence, don’t want to interact with other people, etc.)
76.7% of respondents believe that appearance plays and important role in social relations.
55% of respondents are conscious about their physical appearance,
16.6% of respondents have a physical characteristic that causes them distress
11.6% of respondents are not satisfied with their appearance.
17% of respondents have kept distance with someone because of their different physical appearance,
14% have called someone names because of their different physical appearance,
10.7% have criticized someone because of their different physical appearance,
4.6% have laughed at someone because of their different physical appearance.
Attitudes toward appearance clearly disfavor people who have a visible facial difference.
An implicit association test done online in 2014 revealed that the public easily associated negative characteristics and stereotypes to people with a visible facial difference, perceiving them as having less confidence, more easily feeling inferior, being lonelier, etc. People with good looks have popularity and success, while people with facial disfigurement live less fulfilling lives, they have less abilities so we shouldn’t have high expectations towards them, they have less friends, etc.
Implicitly perceiving people with facial disfigurement has having more emotional issues or being less achieving further perpetuates negative stereotypes and stigma that have serious implications in their daily lives, ranging from staring and unfriendly comments, to denial of equal opportunities and even bullying and violence.