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“Beauty lies in the soul and not in looks”: inspirational acid-attack survivor to walk at Fashion Week

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The bi-annual extravaganza of clothes, shoes and general madness that is Fashion Week is almost upon us yet again, bringing it with it the persistent clicking of cameras, the tapping of a thousand pairs of heels and the usual whirlwind of vibrant colours and patterns.

And, in amongst the usual A-list models and runway regulars, one inspirational woman will be taking to the catwalk not just to model clothes, but to make a political statement.

Nineteen-year-old Reshma Bano, an acid-attack survivor from North India, will be walking in New York Fashion Week for the first time in hope of raising awareness about the unregulated sale of acid across India.

"I want to show the world that beauty lies in the soul and not in looks" - Reshma Bano

"I want to show the world that beauty lies in the soul and not in looks" - Reshma Bano

Bano was left with a severely disfigured face and a missing eye after she was attacked with sulfuric acid in 2014, while protecting her sister from her estranged brother-in-law.

The inspirational teenager, who has said she is both "ecstatic and nervous" about her appearance at New York Fashion Week, has long been campaigning to restrict the sale of acid in India, where there are an estimated 1,000 attacks every year.

A popular beauty vlogger, Bano's tutorials always share the same important message: for example, her viral tutorial on achieving the perfect red lip (below) ends with her advice to viewers: "you’ll find lipstick easily on the market — just like concentrated acid".

Bano applies lipliner for the camera in one of her beauty tutorials

Bano applies lipliner for the camera in one of her beauty tutorials

Bano was chosen to appear at Fashion Week by production firm FTL Moda, who are yet to disclose which designer she will be working with. Her moving reaction to being told she had been selected was caught and released in a video by nonprofit charity Make Love Not Scars (below), who helped to pay for her surgery following the tragic attack.

"I had never in my wildest dreams thought of going abroad let alone walking at a major fashion show," she said. "I am just happy to have been invited for a big event like this and show the world that beauty lies in the soul and not in looks."

After suffering from depression, Bano now hopes to inspire other sufferers to believe in their own beauty.

"I am hoping my participation will give them a confidence that they do not need to hide behind the veils," she added.

Main image: Carters New Agency

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