She survived an acid attack. Now her makeup tutorials are turning heads and raising awareness.

Meet Reshma Quereshi , a cheerful 18-year-old girl from Mumbai, India.

Like many 18-year-old girls, she is cheerful, bubbly, and loves getting fancy. She even does her own online makeup tutorials.


All GIFs from Make Love Not Scars.

Quereshi isn't just a typical teen. She's the survivor of an acid attack.

Quereshi was visiting her sister in the northern town of Allahabad, India, when her sister's estranged husband doused Quereshi in concentrated sulfuric acid, causing severe disfigurement and the loss of her left eye.

Image via Make Love Not Scars.

Quereshi partnered with Make Love Not Scars to produce makeup tutorial videos.

The Indian nonprofit supports survivors of acid attacks. Quereshi's one-minute videos are lighthearted and cheerful, offering beauty tips just like any other makeup tutorial. Until, that is, she highlights just how easy it is for would-be attackers to procure strong acid in India.

As Ria Sharma, one of the founders of Make Love Not Scars told People magazine, "We felt that this video could change people's hearts and make them feel that survivors are as normal as they are."

Quereshi and other survivors are joining forces to put an end to over-the-counter acid sales.

Since caustic acid is used to scrub toilets, it goes unregulated in the marketplace. It's available in most stores and is inexpensive — as little as 20 rupees (33 cents) for a liter. While laws prohibit the sale of acid to anyone under 18, many of the procedures and rules are ignored.

India's not the only country making it easy to purchase dangerous chemicals. These are shelves of sulfuric acid, hydrochloric acid, and more in France. Photo by Evan Bench/Flickr (altered).

That's why Make Love Not Scars is petitioning the Prime Minister of India and the heads of the Indian states and union territories to restrict the sale of strong acids altogether. They're also calling for an increase in excise duty to make acid too expensive for the average person to purchase and to hold acid sellers liable if the proper storage and sales procedures aren't followed.

The campaign has earned global support, and the petition has received over 159,000 signatures to date.

The changes can't come soon enough, as acid attacks are becoming an all too common occurrence.

These attacks rarely kill the victim, but instead cause serious injuries and disfigurement including burns, blindness, and exposed bone. Estimates suggest that 1,500 attacks occur each year, with the majority occurring in India. More than 75% of the victims are women.

Bristi, a Bangladeshi acid attack survivor, takes part in an International Women's Day rally in 2005. Photo by Farjana K. Godhuly/AFP/Getty Images.

While any new policies will arrive too late for survivors like Quereshi, their fight for justice continues.

Though her appearance may be different, Quereshi's spirit and courage remain unbowed as she devotes her energy to this campaign and supporting her fellow survivors.

As she told People magazine, "Beauty doesn't lie in physical appearance but in being strong from inside."

Watch Quereshi's one-minute tutorial on restricting acid sales and getting the perfect red lip.

True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

Who would have thought that giving the world access to all human knowledge via the internet, the ability to follow and hear from experts on any subject via social media, and the ability to see what's happening anywhere in the world via smartphones with cameras would result in a terrifying percentage of the population believing and spouting nothing but falsehoods day in and day out?

Those of us who value facts, reason, and rational thought have found ourselves at some of our fellow citizens and thinking, "Really? THIS is how you choose to use the greatest tool humanity has ever created? To spew unfounded conspiracy theories?"

It's a marvel, truly.

Between Coronavirus/Bill Gates/5G conspiracies and QAnon/Evil Cabal/Pedophile conspiracies, I thought we were pretty much full up on kooky for 2020. But apparently not. The massive fires up and down the West Coast have ignited even more conspiracy theories, some of which local law enforcement and even the FBI have had to debunk.

Keep Reading Show less
True

In 1945, the world had just endured the bloodiest war in history. World leaders were determined to not repeat the mistakes of the past. They wanted to build a better future, one free from the "scourge of war" so they signed the UN Charter — creating a global organization of nations that could deter and repel aggressors, mediate conflicts and broker armistices, and ensure collective progress.

Over the following 75 years, the UN played an essential role in preventing, mitigating or resolving conflicts all over the world. It faced new challenges and new threats — including the spread of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, a Cold War and brutal civil wars, transnational terrorism and genocides. Today, the UN faces new tensions: shifting and more hostile geopolitics, digital weaponization, a global pandemic, and more.

This slideshow shows how the UN has worked to build peace and security around the world:

1 / 12

Malians wait in line at a free clinic run by the UN Multidimensional Integrated Mission in Mali in 2014. Over their 75 year history, UN peacekeepers have deployed around the world in military and nonmilitary roles as they work towards human security and peace. Here's a look back at their history.

Photo credit: UN Photo/Marco Dormino

via Philanthropy Daily

On September 14, Charles "Chuck" Feeney signed the paperwork to shut down Atlantic Philanthropies. The ceremony was attended via Zoom by the philanthropies' board which included former California Governor Jerry Brown, Bill Gates, and Nancy Pelosi.

While most would think the shuttering of a philanthropic endeavor would be a sad event, it was just how Feeney planned. It marked the competition of four-decade mission to give away almost every penny of his $8 billion fortune.

Feeney has saved $2 million to live on for the remainder of his life.

Keep Reading Show less
Katie Neeves (L) photo by Jayne Walsh, JK Rowling (R) photo by Sjhill, CC BY-SA 3.0

Dear JK Rowling,

I am writing this letter to say a big thank you to you. You may think it strange that a gobby trans woman such as me would wish to thank you after all your recent transphobic outpourings, but let me explain…

I certainly don't thank you for your lengthy essay last month where you describe the abuse you have suffered (for which you have my sympathy) and in which you stated that you do not hate trans people, while at the same time peddling even more anti-trans mis-information. Sadly, your diatribe directly caused some trans children to self-harm and other to attempt suicide.

Keep Reading Show less