'APPEARANCE MATTERS'

Issue date: 03 November 2003


ISSUE DATE: 03/11/03

3 December 2003, The Watershed Media Centre, Bristol

Appearance Matters is a one day conference organised by the Centre for Appearance Research (CAR), of the University of the West of England in collaboration with the UK charity Changing Faces and supported by the Health Foundation (previously known as the PPP Foundation).

The conference will highlight current research and practice in the fields of appearance, identity and disfigurement.

Dr Diana Harcourt, conference organiser says, “We live in a society in which we are constantly bombarded by images of the idealised ‘perfect’ body and face. Concerns about appearance are rife. This conference will focus on the specific issues of concern related to those who have a visible difference or disfigurement as well as addressing the general issues affecting the wider population. The research within CAR covers both of these areas. This conference will identify the issues in these areas and efforts to support people with these concerns.”

“In this, our first conference, we bring together professionals such as specialist nurses, doctors, surgeons, psychologists and sociologists in order to raise awareness of the issues and to look at appropriate intervention and support.”

Experts speaking at the conference who will cover topics such as the psychological effects of burns, appearance issues that are the result of cancer treatment, craniofacial conditions, appearance concerns amongst the general population and other appearance related issues.
The keynote speakers are:
Professor Kathy Davis, a leading figure in the field, who is internationally recognised for her work into patients' experiences of plastic surgery. Kathy is based at Utrecht University in the Netherlands and will speak on ‘Choosing to alter your appearance: Plastic Surgery.’
Dr James Partridge OBE, DSc is Chief Executive of Changing Faces, a UK charity supporting and representing people with disfigurements (www.changingfaces.co.uk).
Professor Nichola Rumsey BSc, MSc, PhD is Professor of Appearance & Health Psychology at UWE, Research Director of The Centre for Appearance Research (CAR) and program director of the UWE DHealthPsych award routes.
This conference also marks the independence of CAR and celebrates the five-year successful partnership between the University and Changing Faces.

-ENDS-

Editor’s notes

The Appearance Matters conference will be held at the Watershed in Bristol on Wednesday 3 December 2003. Further information about the conference is available on the website: www.uwe.ac.uk/car
CAR (Centre for Appearance Research) (previously known as the Centre for Appearance and Disfigurement Research - CADR) is a multi-disciplinary research centre located in the Department of Psychology, within the Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of the West of England, Bristol. It was launched in February 1998 as a joint initiative with the UK charity Changing Faces, who provided start-up funding for the first five years. The Centre now has around 26 staff with several PhD students. The aims of CAR are to extend knowledge and understanding about the psychological, cultural, epidemiological and socio-economic aspects of appearance and disfigurement and to relate the knowledge and understanding to policy and practice. (For further information see www.uwe.ac.uk/car.)
Changing Faces is a UK charity supporting and representing people with disfigurements. For further information see: www.changingfaces.co.uk.
Biographies of Keynote speakers:

- Dr Kathy Davis is internationally recognised for her work into patients' experiences of plastic surgery. Kathy is based at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Her recent work focuses on women's involvement in the 'beauty' system and in cosmetic surgery, while her current research centres on constructions of masculinity in the context of (cosmetic) surgery. The latter project is based on materials ranging from medical textbooks and personal interviews with surgeons, to surgeons’ autobiographies and public debates about surgical procedures and technologies.

She is the author of a many books & articles including "Reshaping the Female Body" published by Routledge in 1995 and she was the editor of "Embodied Practices. Feminist Perspectives on the Body" published by Sage in 1997.

- Dr James Partridge OBE, DSc is Chief Executive of Changing Faces. Before setting up Changing Faces in 1992, James worked in public health in the NHS, dairy farming and teaching in Guernsey. He writes and presents widely on diversity and disfigurement themes in the UK and internationally. He is an Associate of the Employers’ Forum on Disability, a member of the Appraisal Committee of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) and sits on the National Judging Committee of UK Skills.

- Professor Nichola Rumsey BSc, MSc, PhD is Professor of Appearance & Health Psychology at UWE, Research Director of CAR. As a member of the UK Dept of Health Cleft Implementation Group, Nichola has played a key role in the guidance published by the Government that each UK cleft team should include a psychologist as a full time core team member. Nichola is the current President of the Craniofacial Society of Great Britain & Ireland – the first psychologist to be elected to this role. She is internationally known for her work into the psychosocial implications of appearance and disfigurement.

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