Acid Attack Survivor Walks in NY Fashion Week

September 9th 2016

Almie Rose

In 2014, Reshma Qureshi of Mumbai was 17 when she was brutally assaulted by her brother-in-law and his friends in an acid attack.

But Qureshi found the strength not to let that incident deter her from living her life as any other ordinary teenage girl. Except she's just gotten an opportunity that makes her a little less ordinary by walking the runway as a model at New York Fashion Week.

FTL Moda, a producer for New York Fashion Week, invited Qureshi to own the catwalk as part of her campaign against sales of acid in India, which uses the hastag #EndAcidSale to raise awareness. They also wanted to highlight less traditional forms of beauty, something Qureshi does regularly in her YouTube makeup videos for Make Love Not Scars.

"... there are so many girls like me ... and this will give them courage."

Qureshi told the Associated Press (quoted here via Elite Daily) why she didn't turn down the opportunity to walk the runway:

"This walk was important to me because there are so many girls like me who are survivors of acid attacks, and this will give them courage. And it will also go to show people who judge people based on their appearance that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover — you should look at everyone though the same eyes."

500 to 1,000

It's estimated that anywhere from 500 to 1,000 acid attacks happen in India every year, according to the Australian news outlet ABC. The attacks frequently target women, either for denying men's romantic advances or for engaging in behavior deemed shameful. In some cases, the women are scarred for life; in others, they die from the attack. The day Qureshi walked the runway was also the same day an Indian court sentenced a man to death for murdering a 24-year-old woman by throwing acid at her. According to prosecutors, the attacker was enraged because the victim rejected his marriage proposal.

According to ABC, Public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam described the importance of this ruling, saying:

"This is a landmark judgment for such crimes. This is the first time that such a judgment has been passed for an acid attack-related case against a woman."

Which makes Qureshi's appearance at Fashion Week all the more significant.

You can watch Quershi's walk on the runway below.

We are going live at nyfw Reshmas walk now

Posted by Make Love Not Scars on Thursday, 8 September 2016

[h/t Elite Daily]