Iranian women who have hidden their faces for far too long are now showing off more than their beauty — they are also exposing the scars left by acid attacks they have survived.
The woman are modeling in a new photo shoot for fashion designer Amen Hadem, who says that she believes women “have beauty beyond exterior looks,” and is using her platform to bring attention to a horrific crime.
Acid attacks are a painful and disfiguring form of violence against women and girls. Perpetrators mean to permanently scar the survivor, reportedly to cause shame, make it hard for the woman to find work, or enter a loving relationship.
One woman, Masumi Attaie, was scarred after having a corrosive substance thrown on her by her father-in-law for divorcing his son. She is now an artist and sculptor.
Another model, Leyla Karibpur, doesn’t know why she was attacked outside of her workplace four years ago. She believes “the public has yet to accept my face.”
But that may change now that Masumi and Leyla were picked by Amen Hadem to model her latest clothing line.
Hadem said “We employ completely different female models to prove that the mere existence of women is beautiful enough.”
According to charity Action Aid, there are about 1,500 acid attacks per year, though many go unreported.