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Facing the world with visible facial differences

I think it’s safe to say that all of us have multifaceted relationships with the way our faces look.

We may notice a blemish here, a scar there, a bump or a divot all arranged on our face to show the world some of what makes us… us.

But what if, on your precious face, it wasn’t just a blemish or a bump, but an injury so extensive that it makes people stare? Makes you reconsider what beauty means, and how you measure your worth. Makes public radio show producers reach out to ask you to talk about it: How it’s formed you, how it’s changed you, how it hasn’t… and if you’d reverse it if you could.

Today, meet three people who’ve had this experience: One whose face was burned by fire, another whose face was burned by a botched medical procedure, and another who lost her nose to a dog bite.

There was a special mention of the show brought up during Tessa's segment on the complicated relationship models have to beauty. Listen to it here.


  • Zaid Garcia: When he was two, a candle fell onto his blanket when he was in bed, and he suffered burns on 80% of his body. His entire scalp is scarred, skin covers his eyes, and he’s lost his nose, his lips, his hands, and one toe. He lives in Galveston, TX, and his GoFundMe has gone viral
  • Tessa Schiethart: Born with Sturge-Weber Syndrome, which resulted in glaucoma and a port wine stain on her face. When she was two years old, a medical procedure to remove the birthmark burned and scarred her from scalp to mouth. She is a coach living in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and is the author of "To Face The Work", about the experiences of people with visible facial differences in the workplace
  • Gabby Myers: Her nose was bitten off by a dog in 2017. She has had seven reconstructive surgeries. She lives in Elwood, Indiana

Jessica Severin de Martinez, Catie Talarski, Anya Grondalski, and Mira Raju contributed to this show.

Audacious with Chion Wolf is available as a podcast onApple Podcasts,Spotify,Google Podcasts,Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode!

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Jessica Severin de Martinez is a producer for Audacious with Chion Wolf.
Chion Wolf is the host of Audacious with Chion Wolf on Connecticut Public, featuring conversations with people who have uncommon or misunderstood experiences, conditions, or professions.
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