ABSTRACT

A widespread ‘first lesson in disfigurement’ occurs on the bus or in some other public place at around 3 or 4 years old. At that age we’re forever pointing things out to the grown-up we’re with, asking questions . . . Then, ‘Hey!’ we point – ‘Look at that man! Why is his nose like that?’ Suddenly, instead of the patient, informative answers we’ve learnt to expect, we’re being told in harsh, urgent whispers not to stare.