Facing up to equality

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AS the fire service have said, last week’s shocking scenes in EastEnders have been a reminder of the dangers of fire and why every home should have a smoke alarm. But it also raises a wider issue.

This week’s episodes of EastEnders will see Kat Moon learning that she has sustained substantial scarring that will be with her for the rest of her life. Many of your readers will relate to Kat’s horror at the news; in today’s image-obsessed society, having an unusual appearance is something that causes huge fear, and yet it’s something that more than a million people live with every day.

Contrary to what many assume, an unusual appearance need not be a barrier to a successful, fulfilling life.

At Changing Faces, we help tens of thousands of people every year through our advice and support services, and our ‘What Success Looks Like’ campaign celebrates the enormous contribution that everyone can make to society.

Through your letters page, I’d like to ask your readers not to feel sorry for Kat, but to hope that her character will get the help and support she needs to move on and rebuild a successful life.

Perhaps people could take time, too, to think about how they react and respond to people with an unusual appearance. We all believe in equality of sexuality, race equality, gender equality, but ask yourself the question: have you ever thought about ‘face equality’?

James Partridge OBE

Chief Executive

Changing Faces