Acid attack victim redefines beauty as she makes star turn at fashion show

A teenager who lost an eye and whose face was brutally disfigured in an acid attack has become a star turn on the New York catwalk. Reshma Qureshi, 19, brushed off nerves to stride the runway like a pro to the whoops and cheers of onlookers. She wore a stunning cream and floral floor-length gown by Indian designer Archana Kochhar on the first official day of New York Fashion Week. “I feel really good and the experience was great,” said the teenager, who was making her first trip abroad. “I feel as though it has definitely changed my life.”

No one else understands what an acid attack is except the survivors themselves. I do not want this to happen to anyone else

Acid attack survivor Reshma Qureshi

The teenager was attacked by her brother-in-law in 2014, pinned down by his friends while her face was doused with acid. After she was attacked, in her Indian home town of Allahbad, she had many painful skin grafts and even considered killing herself. But then she met the founder of support group Make Love Not Scars and became the face of their online video campaign, reaching 1.3 million people. That led to her being invited by FTL Moda, a fashion production company challenging industry stereotypes of beauty to open the show in New York. Now, she hopes her story will inspire other acid attack survivors and encourage countries to regulate the sale of cheap and widely available acids.

Why should we not enjoy our lives? What happened to us is not our fault and we’ve done nothing wrong and so we should also move forward in life

Miss Qureshi