Yesterday, 19-year-old Reshma Qureshi made her NYFW debut, walking in the Indian designer Archana Kochhar’s show. Qureshi, who’s from Mumbai, is the survivor of an acid attack: Two years ago, her sister’s estranged husband and friends doused her face in acid, leaving her with severe facial burns and blind in one eye. Now, she’s the face of a campaign to end the open sale of acid in India, and has also appeared in beauty tutorial videos.
According to The Guardian, an estimated 500 to 1,000 acid attacks take place in India each year. “People have a tendency to look at acid-attack survivors from one perspective and I don’t want them to look at them like that anymore,” Qureshi said, speaking with a translator. “I want to tell the world: Do not see us in a weak light.”