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Common Ways People React to My Facial Difference - as Told by GIFs

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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?”

Contagious Germaphobe GIF by HULU - Find & Share on GIPHY

2. “Is that a tattoo?!” (Mostly asked by children but not uncommon among adults either.)

3. “How do you shower?”

Britney Spears What GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

4. “I’m so jealous, I wish I had one too.”

Jealous Bbc One GIF by BBC - Find & Share on GIPHY

5. “You’re ugly.”

Dw GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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.”

Schitts Creek Eww GIF by CBC - Find & Share on GIPHY

7. “Hey – you have the same birthmark as me!”

Happy So Excited GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

8. “You know doctors can fix that, right?”

Greys Anatomy GIF by ABC Network - Find & Share on GIPHY

9. “You’re so brave. If I were you, I wouldn’t even leave my house.”

Shocked Gasp GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

10. “Oh my gosh, are you OK?!”

GIF by Kim's Convenience - Find & Share on GIPHY

11. *Stares*

Kevin Hart What GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

12. *Staring, while awkwardly looking away when caught, occasionally sneaking a peak*

Awkward Michael Cera GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

13. *The horror stare*

Scared The Lion King GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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?”

Clare Foley Fox GIF by Gotham - Find & Share on GIPHY

17. “Oh my gosh… Your face looks really bad.”

Ugly Donald Glover GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

18. “What is on your face?”

Mr. D Comedy GIF by CBC - Find & Share on GIPHY

19. “Oh, is that a Halloween costume? Who are you dressed up as?”

Halloween Costume GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

20. “You poor thing.”

Golden Girls Throwing Shade GIF by HULU - Find & Share on GIPHY

21. “You’re so beautiful.”

Beauty GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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.”

One Direction Celebrity GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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.”

The Bachelorette GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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.)

Taylor Swift Ready For It GIF by Taylor Swift - Find & Share on GIPHY

27. ER Doctor: “I know you’re here for an allergic reaction, but did you know that you can get that birthmark treated?”

Hugh Laurie Eating GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

29. *More staring*

Are You There Hello GIF by Disney - Find & Share on GIPHY

28. “You’re wrong. That’s not a birthmark – you have cancer.”

Wrong Fox Tv GIF by The X-Files - Find & Share on GIPHY

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.

A Christmas Story GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

31. “Do you have purple boogers?” (Usually asked by children. But just in case you’re wondering – no, I do not.)

Jennifer Lawrence S GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

If you also live with a facial difference or body difference, what GIFs describe the reactions you’ve gotten from strangers?


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Originally published: May 14, 2018
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