Acid Attack Survivor to Walk New York Fashion Week Runway
Reshma Qureshi was a normal teenager until a vicious attack changed her life forever. In a few short weeks, Qureshi will be traveling overseas, for the first time, to walk in New York Fashion Week. Qureshi is known for her powerful videos that use beauty products to raise awareness about the use and sale of acid in India.
Ilaria Niccolini, producer of FTL Moda, discussed plans to continue to push boundaries and promote inclusivity in the fashion and entertainment industries. Regarding Qureshi’s participation in New York Fashion Week Niccolini stated, “We want to give voice to these amazing women, who have been silently suffering, hiding, and too often depriving themselves of the opportunity to declare how beastly and cruelly they have been attacked.”
According to Quartz, Qureshi and her sister, Gulshan, were on their way to the class 10 examination, when the pair was confronted by Gulshan’s estranged husband and two accomplices. The men proceeded to attack Gulshan with acid, and when Qureshi tried to intervene to help her sister, the attacks were turned towards her. Acid was poured onto her face leaving her permanently disfigured and in pain.
Acid attacks, like this, are alarmingly more common than one would imagine, in India. Many of the attacks are the result of a woman rejecting a proposal, a refusal to submit to a man, and/or an issue with a woman’s dowry. As a result of the attacks, women are killed or left marred, and their status and futures are negatively affected, with abandonment and ostracization being common outcomes.
However, Qureshi did not let the attack end her life. Instead, she is using her experience to raise awareness, empower other survivors, and to fight back. Qureshi is the face of Make Love Not Scars (MLNS), which seeks to make acid unavailable to the common man. Currently, acid is as accessible and inexpensive as eyeliner or a tube of lipstick. To learn more about Make Love Not Scars and to get involved in the cause, visit here.