Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Acid-attack survivor shares powerful beauty videos to raise awareness

acid.JPG

Video tutorials have become a mainstay of our beauty routines.

Can’t do a fishtail plait? Now you can. Looking for the perfect way to disguise last night’s bottle of wine? An under-eye concealer tutorial is only a click away. There are hundreds of thousands available online for all your aesthetic conundrums.

But it’s rare to see beauty vlogs go below the surface and be adopted as a means for political ends.  

Reshma Bano Quereshi, 18, a Mumbai acid-attack victim, has partnered with charity Make Love Not Scars, to raise awareness of the commonality of these horrific attacks and campaign in support of fellow victims, through her YouTube videos.

The videos masquerade as basic beauty tutorials, with Quereshi explaining how to achieve, for example, the perfect red lip - apply lip balm…then liner in the correct shade - before saying where viewers can find the beauty products:

“Easily, in the market…just like concentrated acid.”

Quereshi was allegedly attacked with sulphuric acid in 2014 in Northern India by a group of men including her estranged brother-in-law. As a result of the attack, she has been left severely disfigured and lost her left eye.

The statement in Quereshi's videos draw our attention to the absurdity that the corrosive substance is available so easily in India, and for the price of a tube of lipstick or an eyeliner, considering the commonality of acid attacks in India today (at least one per day – an excruciatingly shocking statistic.)

The videos all end with Quereshi urging viewers to sign the petition to ban over-the-counter sales of acid.

Statistics show that 90% of acid attack victims are women, and the perpetrators are usually men. The motive behind the vicious violence is predominantly revenge from a scorned partner, ex-partner, or a rejected man.

Bharat Nayak, a spokesperson for Make Love Not Scars, told The New York Times that the video adopted a beauty tutorial format in which to spread this important message, in the hope of normalising victims in the eye of the viewer:

“We wanted to create a contrast by using a topic as superficial as makeup to address a hard hitting issue of acid attacks,” Nayak says.

“There is so much stigma attached to this, that we felt a video of this kind can change people’s heart and make them feel survivors are as normal as they are.”

In 2013, an order from the Supreme Court of India was issued to stop the open sale of acid, and place tighter restrictions upon distributors, but this has not been enough – toilet acids remain readily available.

Acid attacks have only recently been classified as an autonomous crime, and campaigners are now lobbying for better medical treatment and legal assistance for victims

In an interview with People magazine, Quereshi revealed that she did not receive government aid for her medical treatment following the attack, instead turning to a charity for help.

Quereshi’s lipstick video has been viewed almost a million times and sparked the use of the hashtag #EndAcidSale.

To help prevent further acid attacks, and support victim of this horrifying crime, sign the petition here, to ban the over-the-counter sale of acid in India.

Related

Katie_rt.jpg

Katie Piper on genderless toys for her daughter and making mistakes

Capture.JPG

Fawcett Society urges government to tackle “pathetic” gender pay gap

1537946_1442095876112071_8006511130731520455_o.jpg

New campaign celebrates what women really look like underneath

madelinestuarthero.jpg

Teen with Down's Syndrome lands two modelling contracts

Iman.jpg

Iman on self-esteem, beauty diversity and looking after yourself

rexfeatures_944618a.jpg

Do we need women-only train carriages?

Londoners lift taxi off woman trapped under wheel.jpg

Londoners unite to save woman trapped under taxi

rexfeatures_3772552i.jpg

Chrissie Hynde sparks outrage over rape comments

maternity pregnant.jpg

Maternity leave: we uncover the shocking truth

Comments

More

Adele’s make-up artist just shared his ultimate beauty hack

This is a game-changer

by Sarah Biddlecombe
25 Jul 2017

Urban Decay just launched the ultimate Naked palette

Credit cards at the ready...

by Sarah Biddlecombe
25 Jul 2017

Three steps to braided chic: an easy beach-to-bar look

Instantly transform your style with our DIY tutorial

24 Jul 2017

23 ultimate Love Island hairstyles for summer

Looking for some hair inspiration? Right this way...

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Jul 2017

This is the £4.49 highlighter that's been selling out all summer long

Say hello to the latest must-have beauty product...

by Megan Murray
20 Jul 2017

Ask the experts: golden skincare rules to follow in summer

Head this way for the ultimate guide

by Sarah Biddlecombe
19 Jul 2017

Emily Ratajkowski: we need to stop oversexualising breasts

“They aren't vulgar or offensive”

by Anna Brech
19 Jul 2017

The secret beauty detail we’ve all been missing in Game of Thrones

There’s more to Sansa Stark’s hair than meets the eye…

by Kayleigh Dray
19 Jul 2017

Three easy ways to work hot holiday hair for cocktail nights out

Chic styles for glamour and presence

17 Jul 2017

Act of dignity: US beautician gives free haircuts to the homeless

“I just figured I'd lift people up a little bit”

by Anna Brech
13 Jul 2017