Acid Attack Victim Raises Awareness With Brilliant “Beauty Tutorial” Video

by Angelica Leicht Posted: 09-14-15 | 2 years ago
make love not scars campaign

Acid attack victim Reshma can tell you how to get the perfect red lips, but you may not be ready for the pain that comes with this type of beauty.

The tutorial, “How to Get Perfect Red Lips,” shows 18-year-old Reshma as she walks viewers through her daily makeup routine. During the lesson, Reshma talks about the steps to her red lips: everything from finding the right lipstick to lining her lips with a matching shade after using a toothbrush and chapstick as primer.

Oh, but the most important lipstick tip? Reshma says that in India, it’s just as easy to buy corrosive liquid as the red lipstick she’s applying to her face — and is often cheaper, too.

You see, Reshma’s tutorial is not only teaching her beauty tricks, but is also bringing awareness to a pervasive problem in India: a lack of regulations on corrosive liquids, and the daily acid attacks that disfigure women in India.

Reshma, prior to the acid attack that scarred her face.
Reshma, prior to the acid attack that scarred her face.

The 18-year-old is speaking out after a brutal attack last year at the hands of her brother-in-law, in which he allegedly threw sulfuric acid over her face as she was walking to school to take an exam.

Her now-estranged brother-in-law was arrested after the attack, but her family has said that two of his accomplices were never caught.

And Reshma’s hardly the only Indian woman to be attacked with corrosive liquids; according to the video, a girl becomes the victim of an acid attack in India every day, and the numbers are rising.

Researchers at Cornell University have found that men are almost always responsible for the attacks — rejected suitors or angry husbands, or even men who weren’t offered a large enough dowry to satisfy their egos.

The number of women attacked each year is upwards of 1,000 women, according to Rahul Saharan, a photographer in New Delhi who works to document and photograph victims of the attacks for a fashion calendar to raise awareness.

The women are often criticized after the attacks for lacking conventional Indian standards of beauty — fair skin or large eyes, for example — leaving them not only physically disfigured, but also incredibly emotionally traumatized as well.

The liquids used to disfigure Indian women are still readily available, despite the Supreme Court of India ordering merchants and distributers to stop the sale of acid and carry out tighter restrictions on liquids such as toilet cleaning acid.

It looks like this campaign, and the incredibly brave Reshma, may be onto something. The video, both harrowing and beautiful, has already been viewed over a million times.

Angelica Leicht

“As a former alt-weekly writer and editor, Angelica has plenty of experience in listicles and fighting the man. She now spends most of her time side-eying and listening to terrible pop music while plotting how to raise a little Texas-bred hell.”

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