Connie Culp is an amazingly brave woman. Her face was horribly disfigured by her husband with a shotgun. She had no nose, no upper jaw. Her face looked like it had been attacked by a tiny black hole, sucking in the middle bit. She was lovely before being shot, really cute. Yesterday she revealed that she received a facial transplant. I think she’s kinda awesome.
I can imagine all sorts of deformities being difficult to bear in public, but facial deformities have to be the most difficult. Your face is, to a large degree, who you are to the world, your face is how you relate and interact with everyone. To be horribly disfigured or born with a terrible facial deformity is awful.
It isn’t just that our culture prizes youth and beauty, this is beyond that. Even ugly faces are normal, as long as they are whole. Looking at someone disfigured like Connie Culp was does something to me, I try to look away. Or stare. As long as we thing the person can’t see me.
Every time I see a deformity or injury I can’t help but wonder how it happened and what it’s like to have that problem. I end up staring because I’m thinking about it. It’s embarrasing. Really. Also, I will watch a train wreck, avidly.
Connie Culp choose to come forward with pictures of her original face, her traumatized face and her new face. She got a facial transplant, and right now it’s still looks like a facial transplant. But she has a nose, and an upper pallette, and she can breathe and eat on her own. I am really so very happy for her.
I remember a few years ago reading about the “controversy” over facial transplants. For people who have suffered horrible accidents or injuries, who feel they can no longer go out in public, how totally wonderful to be given a second chance at a public life? I am enthusiastically supportive of these kinds of transplants.
Hopefully these pictures will “stick” here. Otherwise, go to the story to see them.
Last night when I watched this story on the news I got pissed off at the stupid anchor. Not that I don’t get pissed off at them all the time anyway, however… She warned “sensitive” viewers might want to look away at the pictures of Ms. Culp’s injured pre-surgery face. WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Like this woman doesn’t have enough to deal with, you are reinforcing the reason it’s so bloody difficult for her to live a normal(ish) life after the attack. You ADD to her suffering by saying bonehead things like that.