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Friday, September 11, 2015

Video - With red lipstick, a Female Indian acid attack victim makes a bold statement.

With red lipstick, a Female Indian acid attack victim makes a bold statement. (ET).

In her peppy and helpful online video tutorial, Reshma Bano Qureshi promises to teach her viewers “how to get perfect red lips.”

But unlike the more than 200,000 other online videos dedicated to the application of lipstick, this one goes beyond plumping and priming.

After sharing her cosmetic tips, Ms Qureshi, 18, talks about her far more striking facial features. She is missing her left eye, and her skin is badly scarred from an attack in Northern India last year by her estranged brother-in-law and a group of men who held her down and poured sulfuric acid on her face. Her brother-in-law was arrested after the attack, but her family has said that two of his accomplices were never caught.

In her video, Ms Qureshi explains that it is as easy for attackers to buy concentrated acid at a market as it is for her to buy a tube of lipstick — and sometimes, it is cheaper. The video, one of several produced by the group Make Love Not Scars, has garnered more than 900,000 views and led to the hashtag #EndAcidSale.

Bharat Nayak, a representative for Make Love Not Scars, said in an email that bending traditional norms of female beauty was a powerful tactic intended to bring attention to persistent attacks against women in India despite efforts to limit the sale of acid used in many attacks.
In addition to the videos produced by Make Love Not Scars, online activists are appropriating the tactics used by beauty industry marketers to draw attention to survivors. Supporters on social media have posted “faceless selfies” to help raise funds for survivors, and others have circulated a photo calendar online.

Rahul Saharan, a photographer in New Delhi who worked on the calendar, said the project was meant to empower survivors, who often feel isolated and stigmatised. In the calendar, one woman poses in a lab coat, holding a sign that says, “I wanted to be a doctor.” Other victims are photographed standing in a chef’s kitchen, sitting in front of a microphone and holding a book. “The calendar is basically shot on their dreams that they had before their attack,” he said. Hmmm......I salute their courage and determination. Read the full story here.

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