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BEAUTY IN EVERY SMILE
October 5 @ 8:00 am – October 7 @ 4:00 pm
Smile Train UK – the world’s largest cleft charity – have released a series of unfiltered images celebrating the beauty and diversity in smiles, to support their new nationwide campaign, Beauty in Every Smile.
Captured by London-based photographer Fanny Beckman, who is renowned for using art to raise awareness of social injustice and inequalities, the images feature 12 cleft-affected people from across the UK, who have come to love their smiles after facing stigma, mistreatment and/or discrimination as a result of their facial difference.
Launched in time for World Smile Day® (6 October), the images are being showcased on giant 2-metre high panels in a public exhibition on London’s busy South Bank, from 9am on Thursday 5 October to 4pm on Saturday 7 October.
Commenting on the exhibition images, Fanny Beckman, says: “Beauty in Every Smile has truly been a dream project to work on. Smile Train UK’s work is very much in line with my ethos and what I want to achieve with my photography: to raise awareness of stories that historically have been untold. Art is a powerful tool to use to start conversations, and I’ve been fortunate to meet many inspiring people during the photoshoots. I am grateful to all the models for sharing their experiences, and for removing the stigma around being born with a cleft.”
A cleft is a facial difference that occurs when a baby’s lip and/or mouth do not fuse together during pregnancy. One in 700 people are born with a cleft in the UK each year – and every three minutes a baby is born with a cleft globally.
Sadly, research recently carried out by Smile Train UK – in partnership with Censuswide – found that over a third (34%) of people living with a facial difference in the UK (including cleft) have been discriminated against or have heard negative comments said about them. Three in ten (30%) have also been bullied. As a result, more than a quarter have felt self-conscious (29%), unhappy (28%), embarrassed (28%), unwanted (26%) – and even depressed (27%).
And these feelings of self-consciousness don’t just impact people with a facial difference. According to Smile Train UK’s survey, over half (53%) of the wider public are yet to fully love their smile. And sadly, only 18% of the nation think their smile is beautiful.
Interestingly, approximately a quarter (24%) of the public surveyed said they would love their smile more if they were told it was beautiful. And for one in ten, a greater understanding of differences and uniqueness in society would have a positive impact on the way they view their smile too.
In response to these findings, Smile Train has launched the Beauty in Every Smile campaign, to inspire more ‘smile inclusivity’ in the UK and to encourage people to see the beauty in their own unique smiles.
Smile Train UK is championing smile inclusivity, by encouraging more people to see the beauty in the smiles of others – as well as their own. Because there’s Beauty in Every Smile. Visit www.smiletrain.org.uk/beautyineverysmile to learn more.