This week is Face Equality Week, led by Face Equality International. The theme is “We Will Not Hide”. (It is also Ichthyosis Awareness Month!)
Something I talk about a lot is the need for authentic representation in media. I wholeheartedly encourage news outlets to employ people people with facial differences to write articles and speak on TV about facial difference and the issues that impact us, rather than seeking comment from people without lived experience. Nothing about us without us. And I also call for incidental representation.
While I’m grateful for news programs for inviting me to speak, often it’s only for a short time, and usually the only topic I get to speak about is disability and facial difference. And I want to speak about so much more. Fandom, fashion, social affairs, food, books – I want to showcase my talent and interest areas. This is the case for many people with facial differences (and disabled people).
And in fictional media – like TV dramas and films – the character with the facial difference or disability almost always needs to provide a backstory about how they *became* disabled, and their storyline centres around disability being a tragedy.
Incidental representation, and inclusion, is where we are in the media, writing and speaking about, or doing what we love – aside from focusing on our facial differences and disability.
Because this shows people watching and reading what’s possible. That we can lead ordinary and extraordinary lives, and that we don’t have to hide.
I was thrilled that The Cook Up with Adam Liaw on SBS Food invited me to film four episodes last year, after I tweeted my interest in the show. I love cooking, I love doing media, and I love eating and talking about food. This was a dream come true – and it incidentally included facial difference and disability in the episodes. Thank you Adam, Kathryn, Kate, Ashlee, Farah and the whole Cook Up team for making it the best day on set.
Here’s me making a giant pancake with Adam Liaw and Nelly Robinson. Cooking in a very public way, on one of my favourite TV shows.
I will not hide.
My episodes with Chef Nelly Robinson are on SBS on Demand, and the recipes are on the SBS Food website.
Video: Carly Findlay cooking with Adam Liaw in in a TV studio kitchen. Carly is making a giant pancake in a fry pan, the batter is sizzling. Carly and Adam are talking, and then Chef Nelly Robinson comes over to look and talk. There are captions on the top of the video. Carly is a woman with a red face, short dark curly hair, wearing a striped vest over a purple shirt. Adam is an Asian man, and Nelly is an English man.