Common Ways People React to My Facial Difference - as Told by GIFs
When you live with a facial difference, life is never boring.
People are constantly in awe when I share stories about how people react to my face. From harsh comments to staring, I do my best to not only describe the stranger’s words but their tone and body reaction. But in a world where GIFs are growing in popularity, I’ve created a list of the most popular responses I get from strangers when I’m out in the public, as told by GIFs – whether I’m on a date with my boyfriend or if I’m shopping in Target with my mom.
(Also, please note that most of these statements and experiences were simplified to one sentence from the interaction.)
1. “Is that contagious?”
2. “Is that a tattoo?!” (Mostly asked by children but not uncommon among adults either.)
3. “How do you shower?”
4. “I’m so jealous, I wish I had one too.”
5. “You’re ugly.”
6. A common question often asked is, “What’s wrong with your face?” Walking into a church a few years ago, a woman I’ve known my whole life even greeted me with, “Oh, I thought you were the girl who has something wrong with your face.”
7. “Hey – you have the same birthmark as me!”
8. “You know doctors can fix that, right?”
9. “You’re so brave. If I were you, I wouldn’t even leave my house.”
10. “Oh my gosh, are you OK?!”
12. *Staring, while awkwardly looking away when caught, occasionally sneaking a peak*
13. *The horror stare*
14. *When people follow my every movement with their stares*
15. “If you had enough faith, you’d be healed.”
16. “Why does your face look like that?”
17. “Oh my gosh… Your face looks really bad.”
18. “What is on your face?”
19. “Oh, is that a Halloween costume? Who are you dressed up as?”
20. “You poor thing.”
21. “You’re so beautiful.”
22. Once I went to the mall to try on makeup that hides my birthmark – which would be used for a very special occasion. (I rarely choose to hide the birthmark.) Once I was in the chair, I was invisible. Only my birthmark and my mother remained in makeup artist’s company. Instead of asking me what I thought about the makeup, she kept referring to my mother with statements such as, “Doesn’t that look better now?” She even slipped out a casual, “See? With her hair down, you can’t even see it anymore.” While this is one example alone, this GIF represents when people don’t see beyond my birthmark, when I as a human… a person… becomes invisible.
23. “What do you use to cover your birthmark? You should try this makeup brand. It hides things like that better.”
24. That one time my picture was stolen, and I was turned into a meme that went viral to over 30 million people… and cyberbullied in the process.
25. “Ew, gross.”
26. “Can I touch it?” (And let me point out that not everyone will ask, some people will just reach up and touch my cheek – especially children.)
27. ER Doctor: “I know you’re here for an allergic reaction, but did you know that you can get that birthmark treated?”
29. *More staring*
28. “You’re wrong. That’s not a birthmark – you have cancer.”
29. When people won’t believe it’s a birthmark and insist there is something doctors can do about my face.
30. When people take one look at me and their gut reaction is a swear word.
31. “Do you have purple boogers?” (Usually asked by children. But just in case you’re wondering – no, I do not.)
If you also live with a facial difference or body difference, what GIFs describe the reactions you’ve gotten from strangers?
Images Provided by Giphy.com
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