When I started this blog in June 2015, the aim was to raise awareness about what it’s like to live with a facial disfigurement and disability.
My core message was that we are all born whole, no matter what we look like, how many chromosomes we carry, our physical and intellectual limitations, etc.
Nearly two years on, I remain passionately committed to the original aim and message of the blog and yet world events as well as my experience of raising two strong-willed daughters of mixed heritage, compel me to broaden the range of topics I blog about.
Far from representing a departure from my initial ideas for this blog, I see the growing range of blog posts as an expansion that falls within the overall concept of born whole, for it’s a concept that is relevant not only for people with disfigurements or disabilities but everyone.
With the election of Donald Trump, the UK’s vote to leave the EU and the growing presence of far-right parties in mainstream European politics, racism, xenophobia and misogyny are becoming normalised.
As a result, we find ourselves living in an increasingly unpredictable and frightening world. Borders are closing, and the division between ‘us’ and ‘them’ is becoming sharper.
‘Born whole’ says that everyone’s life matters, whatever our nationality, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, appearance and ability. Unfortunately, our societies appear to be moving away from what hard-won inclusion we’ve achieved, and towards intolerance and isolation.
Ultimately all kinds of xenophobia boil down to the same thing: fear and ignorance of those who are not like ourselves. So, in whatever small way we can, we must all do our bit to fight that fear and ignorance, not with sticks and stones but with open hearts, open minds and a healthy dose of humility.
But to do so, we must become conscious of our own prejudices – we all carry some no matter how tolerant and accepting we believe ourselves to be – and work to break them down.
If we accept that everyone is born whole, then we must also accept that no one’s life is worth more than that of another human being.