A Site Dedicated to Facial Differences and Heroes, Villians and Fools

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You’ve come to the right place to learn about faces, esp. ones that stand out in a crowd—the good, the bad, and the “ugly.” Together we’ll learn and share insights—via blogs, comments, guest blogs—about the social and psychological aspects of living with “facial differences” in a world that emphasizes looks.

What you bring to the discussion:

  • a lifetime of experience looking at and reacting to faces
  • a willingness to be open-minded and to engage and comment when so moved.

What I bring:

  • I’ve produced TV documentaries on the stigmatizing effects of oral-facial disorders and the psychological issues around reconstructive surgery.
  • Because I grew up with a cleft lip and palate, I’ve studied the psychological aspects of facial differences as a social scientist.
  • I’ve written a memoir, Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal, which conveys my experiences as a cleft kid. It is the first published memoir by a cleft about the cleft experience. Wayman Publishing just released the book to rave reviews. Cleft Heart shows bullied clefts and others that they can survive and thrive, giving them and their loved ones hope that they can live normal lives. [Continue reading]

Does this icon look bullied?

Karl Schonborn's painting of The Bev—holding a book— from Leave it to Beaver - checked shirt, purple pants.

Am pleased to announce that two more of my paintings have been added to the Gallery on KarlSchonborn.com. Please click on the Paintings tab to see Beaver Cleaver and Shirley Temple.Cyberbullying.Glad that cyberbullying wasn't around back then! … [Continue reading]

Time to buy Cleft Heart: Chasing Normal.

Artful rendition of cover of Schonborn's memoir Cleft Heart.

Gentle Reader,  As they say in radio, we've got to go to a commercial break now and then to pay the rent and keep the lights on. Since I'm not used to being a shameless promoter, I'll list some comments readers have used for Cleft Heart. They come in … [Continue reading]

Lookism in online dating? Likely.

Angelina Jolie gazes at Brad Pitt

This exchange between an unhappy online-dating fellow and an advice columnist is telling. It reveals much about lookism and modern life, especially in and around Manchester, England where the Guardian is based. During two sabbaticals there, I learned … [Continue reading]

Cleft palate defect doubles with Zofran drug.

Cleft palate child.

Another anti-nausea morning sickness drug in trouble? Thalidomide* all over again? Cleft palate causation is elusive, complex., and multifactorial. Thus, it's news when a single factor seems to have this much of an … [Continue reading]

Cyberbullying and R&B star Kehlani’s suicide attempt.

Dark-haired Kehlani, a cyberbullying victim, sings with mic.

 Kehlani, an and R&B superstar from my old stomping ground, Oakland, CA, tried to kill herself this week due to cyberbullying. She'd been "slut shammed," a particularly vicious type of cyberbullyin. She felt –at least for a moment in … [Continue reading]

A cleft lip, a prophet & perfection: an Easter story.

Book with story of cleft palate affected girl with author Selzer' on cover.

   Here's an excerpt from a  Harvard Magazine piece that covers many of my favorite blog topics: cleft lip, cleft palate, restorative medicine,  patient care, and the role of doctors. Are they just healers or are they prophets? Are they … [Continue reading]

Cleft lip repair breakthrough—Dr.Millard.

Blsck n white photo of Dr. Millard (left) examining Asian cleft lip patient.

 In an era when individuals and even families (the Kardashian entourage)) overuse cosmetic surgery—and in many cases with questionable, even disastrous results—it's important to remember the amazing things that reconstructive surgery (like cleft lip … [Continue reading]