Scars don't make you evil: Disability activists are speaking out over outdated movie trope
via MGM

Rami Malek as Lyutsifer Safin in "No Time to Die."

One of the longest-running tropes in popular entertainment is having a villain with a scarred or disfigured face. Try to think of a horror film where the bad guy doesn't suffer from some sort of disfigurement.

Candyman has a hook. Freddy Krueger is severely burned. Jason from "Friday the 13th" is bald, burned and disfigured beneath the hockey mask.

It's also popular in science fiction and adventure films. Darth Vader has to wear a mask to hide his deformity. In Tim Burton's 1989 "Batman," Jack Napier becomes The Joker after having an acid bath that leaves him with a bizarre grin. The bad guy in "The Lion King" is named Scar after a mark on his face.


One film franchise that has relied on the disfigurement trope for far too long is James Bond: Raoul Silva with a deformed jaw in "Skyfall," Le Chiffre's disfigured eye in "Casino Royale," and Alec Trevelyan's scars in "GoldenEye."

Now, in the latest Bond adventure, "No Time to Die," 007 faces two villains with facial differences, Rami Malek's Safin and Christoph Waltz's Blofeld.

Author and disability advocate Jen Campbell called out the Bond franchise in a recent viral tweet thread:


"[The face is] the #1 part of the body we use for socializing and is strongly tied to our sense of personal identity, so in essence, destroying a person's face is the equivalent to destroying his or her life," TV Tropes writes. "This trope can include those who die from the disfigurement, but it's more effective (and more horrifying) to have the victim live with it," the site continues.

The problem is that after being bombarded with countless bad guys who have facial irregularities, we begin to associate facial scarring and disfigurement with evil. This leads to discrimination against people with facial differences.



Actor and presenter Adam Pearson, who has neurofibromatosis, says it's not just about banning villains with scars from TV and film but showing that there can be protagonists and love interests with facial differences, too.

"When the only character with a scar or disfigurement is shown on screen as the villain, it's perpetuating the use of an old-fashioned and outdated trope," he told ITV News.

"This isn't about banning baddies from having scars or telling people not to enjoy a trip to the cinema, it's about putting a line in the sand and saying now is the time to ensure other characters can be seen on screen with a visible difference too," he said.

The film was also criticized by Phyllida Swift, the CEO of Face Equality International, an alliance of groups working to promote face equality.

"'This is not simply an outdated stereotype, or a poor creative choice, this is indicative of a society that doesn't see facial difference as an equality issue worthy of respect and consideration," she said in a statement.

"No Time to Die" marks the final performance of Daniel Craig as James Bond. In a few years, there will no doubt be a new 007 and some new villains for us to root against. Maybe a new era will bring fresh ideas and villains who are threatening for more reasons than their appearance.

True

It takes a special type of person to become a nurse. The job requires a combination of energy, empathy, clear mind, oftentimes a strong stomach, and a cheerful attitude. And while people typically think of nursing in a clinical setting, some nurses are driven to work with the people that feel forgotten by society.

Keep Reading Show less

Prior to baby formula, breastfeeding was the norm, but that doesn't mean it always worked.

As if the past handful of years weren't challenging enough, the U.S. is currently dealing with a baby formula crisis.

Due to a perfect storm of supply chain issues, product recalls, labor shortages and inflation, manufacturers are struggling to keep up with formula demand and retailers are rationing supplies. As a result, families that rely on formula are scrambling to ensure that their babies get the food they need.

Naturally, people are weighing in on the crisis, with some throwing out simplistic advice like, "Why don't you just do what people did before baby formula was invented and just breastfeed?"

That might seem logical, unless you understand how breastfeeding works and know a bit about infant mortality throughout human history.

Keep Reading Show less

Courtesy of Elaine Ahn

True

The energy in a hospital can sometimes feel overwhelming, whether you’re experiencing it as a patient, visitor or employee. However, there are a few one-of-a-kind individuals like Elaine Ahn, an operating room registered nurse in Diamond Bar, California, who thrive under this type of constant pressure.

Keep Reading Show less
via Pexels

Your cat knows you better than you think.

Cats are often seen as being aloof or standoffish, even with their owners. Of course, that differs based on who that cat lives with and their lifetime of experience with humans. But when compared to man’s best friend, cats usually seem less interested in those around them, regardless of species.

However, a new study out of Japan has found that cats may be paying more attention to their fellow felines and human friends than most people thought. In fact, they could be listening to human conversations.

"What we discovered is astonishing," Saho Takagi, a research fellow specializing in animal science at Azabu University in Kanagawa Prefecture, told The Asahi Shimbun. "I want people to know the truth. Felines do not appear to listen to people's conversations, but as a matter of fact, they do."

How do we know they’re listening? Because the study shows that household cats often know the names of their human and feline friends.

Keep Reading Show less

Yuri has a very important message for his co-workers.

While every person with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is different, there are some common communication traits that everyone should understand. Many with ASD process language literally and have a hard time understanding body language, social cues, exaggeration and cultural cues.

This can lead to misunderstandings that result in people with ASD appearing to be rude when it wasn't their intent. If more neurotypical people (those without ASD) better understood these communication differences, it’d be much easier for everyone to get along.

A perfect example of this problem and how to fix it was shared by Yuri, a transmasc person who goes by he/they, who posts on TikTok about having ADHD and ASD. In a post that has more than 2.3 million views, Yuri claims he was “booked for a disciplinary meeting for being a bad communicator.”

Keep Reading Show less