Why Naomi is lending her support to major campaign to help ‘Stop The Stare’ - The Worcester Observer
Online Editions

10th Aug, 2022

Why Naomi is lending her support to major campaign to help ‘Stop The Stare’

Rob George 20th Jun, 2022

A WORCESTER NHS play specialist has called on people to ‘Stop The Stare’ after new figures reveal those with a disfigurement have experienced a rise in hostile behaviour.

28-year-old Naomi has ptosis of the right eyelid which makes it droopy and has spoken out on how staring impacts her daily life.

She shared her experience as a survey from charity Changing Faces show those with visible differences have experienced a surge in hostility from 34 per cent in 2019 to 43 per cent last year.

According to the survey, more than half – 51 per cent – have felt self-conscious or embarrassed as a result of their visible difference with a quarter feeling isolated and lonely.

Nearly a third of those asked, 28 per cent, said they were stared at because of their visible difference and Naomi has lent her support to the charity’s ‘Stop the Stare’ campaign.

“Nowadays when I’m commuting to work by bus, I’m immune to staring from members of the public as I cocoon myself in my own bubble with my headphones,” she said.

“But it was a different story at school and I struggled with bullying and a sense of belonging as children and teenagers can be very mean.”

“Now, when I work with children in the local hospital, the environment gives the perfect opportunity for inquisitive children to ask questions and be curious – and I’d rather people just ask me.

“We are not all made perfect, and everyone is different, and we should be celebrating those differences.”

“If you can embrace a sense of community and kindness, offer a smile or ask a question, it’s better than not seeing the person as a human being,” she added.

The ‘Stop the Stare’ campaign is part of a week-long series of events to mark Face Equality Week 2022. It aims to celebrate visible differences and raise awareness of what needs to change so everyone with a visible difference or disfigurement is supported and respected.

Changing Faces chief executive Heather Blake said: “With limited opportunities to socialise, people shielding, and visible differences being obscured by masks and face coverings, perhaps seeing a diverse range of faces and body types hasn’t been as commonplace in the past two years.

“But frankly that’s no excuse, it’s simply not acceptable people are experiencing negative behaviours, abuse and discrimination because of how they look.”

Changing Faces is the UK’s leading charity for everyone who has a scar, mark or condition that makes them look different.

Visit www.changingfaces.org.uk or call 0300 012 0275 for more. or call 0300 012 0275 for more.

Property Finder 24/7

Search for properties in Worcestershire, Warwickshire and the West Midlands.

Business Directory

From plumbers, to restaurants, we can provide you with all the info you need.

Digital Advertising

Advertise on the Worcester Observer to boost your online presence.

Buy Photos

Buy photos online from the Worcester Observer newspaper.