One of the things that has always fascinated me, ever since I was a tiny kid, was how much someone’s face influences our idea of them, and also the fact that changing or deforming that face drastically alters how that person will be perceived. The face is such a hugely important part of someone’s identity. It’s their single most defining personal characteristic, and it’s what we use to identify peoples’ humanity, I think.
Someone with even a slightly deformed face will always draw peoples’ attention. Someone with a severely deformed face will usually cause most people a deep sense of unease. Whether the deformity is congenital or the result of some accident, it always makes people uncomfortable, at least initially.
If you were afflicted with a severe facial disfigurement, would you display it openly, or would you cover it over with something?
I don’t think either option is a very good one. I can remember as a kid, seeing the VHS tape cover for the film The Elephant Man in the Bookmobile that used to drive from our library to my elementary school. On it, there was a picture of Joseph Merrick with that thing he used to wear over his head, a bag or something. This always bothered me very much. Even when I looked up John Merrick and saw what his face actually looked like, I think the bag bothered me more.
If there was some kind of facial prosthetic available, like the one in Vanilla Sky, which provided a little more of a realistic face but still looked very fake, would you wear that?