There's a new awareness campaign circling around on the Webosphere that is nothing short of inspiring and empowering. Indian brand Viva N Diva's "Face Of Courage" campaign stars acid attack survivor Laxmi Saa, and offers a voice to a group of people who have been scared into silence.
The campaign not only challenges society's idea of what it means to be beautiful, but it also encourages survivors to come out with their stories and not feel shamed into hiding. According to Mashable, Laxmi was chosen for the campaign because, at 26, she decided to not hide her story and instead became an advocate for the women who have been through the same injustice she experienced.
As Machable reported, "Over a decade ago, Laxmi (who only goes by her first name) was attacked by an older man and his friend, who poured acid on her face and arms after she refused his marriage proposal. She was just 15. The perpetrators were eventually imprisoned, but Laxmi had to undergo expensive medical treatment and several surgeries."
Although what Laxmi went through was undoubtedly horrific, she now wants to show other acid attack survivors that they don't need to assume the roles of victims for the rest of their lives. They don't need to be pitied and won't be grimaced at. They can show their faces in public, and they are still gorgeous, strong individuals. As she told Mashable, "People victimize acid attack survivors, but I think we need to come out of this mindset."
Showing her strength and determination, Laxmi is proving that those are qualities that make a person beautiful, which is exactly the message Viva N Diva seemingly wanted to help spread. This is why the campaign centers around phrases like, "Be graceful. So you don't struggle into different walks of life," or, "Be passionate. To wake up every morning with determination to achieve goals." And behind each phrase is a smiling and determined Laxmi, embodying those traits.
Aayushi Rastogi from Viva N Diva told Mashable about the campaign, saying, "The whole idea was to challenge the widespread judgement of women on the basis of their beauty." That's a bold move when linking such a message to a fashion campaign — something that usually centers around making a woman feel beautiful and confident according to society's standards. It's precisely this reason that the message is all the stronger.
While the "Face of Courage" campaign is helping lift women up in India and beyond, here are three other social awareness campaigns that have succeeded in inspiring and strengthening their audiences over the years.
1. #ThatsNotLove Campaign
Set up by the One Love Foundation — an organization created in honor of Yeardley Love, a 22-year-old lacrosse player who was murdered by an ex-boyfriend — the #ThatsNotLove campaign is dedicated to ending relationship violence. The video aims to show that such violence can't always be deduced through black eyes and domestic dispute calls, but through subtle, often easily-forgivable verbal actions that can escalate into something much, much more. The campaign tries to show those in abusive relationships that what they're experiencing isn't healthy love, and that they have the strength to break away.
2. Curvy Kate's "The Perfect Body" Recreation
When Victoria's Secret came out with its "The Perfect Body" ad, responses from the public were pretty mixed. As a response, Curvy Kate lingerie recreated the ad with women of all sizes, shapes, and weights, showing the viewer that any body is perfect, as long as you love it.
3. #DieselReboot Campaign
It's common knowledge that those with disabilities are grossly underrepresented when it comes to the fashion world, but the #DieselReboot campaign aimed to change that by staring blogger Jillian Mercado in its 2014 campaign. Mercado has spastic muscular dystrophy and appeared glammed up and effortlessly cool centerfold in her wheelchair.
If there's anything all of these campaigns have in common, it's showing the world that you don't have to be conventional in order to be beautiful and hella stylish.
Images: Viva N Diva (3); Diesel (1)