This story sent me the shivers. It changes the meaning of ‘before and after’ that cosmetic brands and weight loss programmes market. It changes the way we might even look at ourselves if we like to reflect a bit.
Connie Culp will be called brave for coming out in the open after her full face transplant, but what is the price she will pay for the rest of her life?
- "Culp’s husband, Thomas, shot her in 2004, then turned the gun on himself. He went to prison for seven years. His wife was left clinging to life. The blast shattered her nose, cheeks, the roof of her mouth and an eye. Hundreds of fragments of shotgun pellet and bone splinters were embedded in her face. She needed a tube into her windpipe to breathe. Only her upper eyelids, forehead, lower lip and chin were left."
Who will benefit from such exposure?
Her husband who shot her? He would probably think he had hit the target well. Herself? To some extent. Perhaps, she’d be able to accept her situation better if she has nothing to hide. What about the rest - those who called her monster or thought she was? She has still not got back her original face or anything close to that…“Her expressions are still a bit wooden”.
We? We, who sit and think a bit more than those who called her monster? I am miles away from where she is, but I have been thinking about vanity. I usually do not like the idea of uploading such pictures; I find it manipulative. But I have done it in this case to make me realise a few thing. Everytime I feel a bit down or look pale I use a lip gloss to appear confident. It strangely works. As though I am putting on a face “to meet the faces that we meet”.
My confidence seems so puerile now. It was a put-on, to begin with. But that act too, to save me from the ignominy of being defenceless, looks horribly arrogant now.
Even those puffed post-weeping eyes that I cover with oversized shades seem to be merely another mask. A mask that eats into the skin and seeps through the pores.
We are vulnerable all the time. More often ‘after’ than ‘before’.