Acid Attack Survivor Makes NYFW Debut To #TakeBeautyBack

Production company, FTL Moda continues to broaden the spectrum of beauty with its #TakeBeautyBack campaign. Last year they invited Madeline Stuart, a model with Down Syndrome to walk the runway for designer, Hendrik Vermeulen. On Wednesday (07/09), Reshma Qureshi, 19, braved the runway for Indian designer, Archana Kochhar.

‘I want to tell the world – do not see us in a weak light and see that even we can go out and do things… I feel brave,’ Preshma told AFP.

‘Why should we not enjoy our lives?’ Reshma said before the show. ‘What happened to us is not our fault and we’ve done nothing wrong and so we should also move forward in life.’

Reshma’s moment brings attention the epidemic of acid attacks in Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, the West Indies and Middle East where victims are mostly women and children. In India, Reshma’s native country, 500-1000 attacks occur annually, rarely proving fatal but permanently scarring the victim both physically and psychologically.


credit: AFP Trevor Collens

They often occur as at the hands of a family member for acts of ‘dishonour’, and when rejecting a man’s advances. Two years ago, when Reshma was 17, she and her sister were attacked by her sister’s estranged husband and friends. She received basic treatment but was told her eye would not be salvageable.

After her attack she joined Indian-based nonprofit organization, Make Love Not Scars. Reshma appears in beauty videos for the organization’s Youtube channel. The video highlights how easy it is for someone to buy acid in India- just as easy as buying a lipstick.

The organization hopes to encourage the public to sign a petition for the government to regulate the readily available sale of concentrated acid.

By Zoya Pon for Marie Claire SA.