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References in classic literature? Do you remember when, in his inheritance of your nature, and in your pampering of his pride and passion, he did this, and disfigured me for life? I believed not, too, for, although in my brooding state I had taken no especial notice of the people behind me, I thought it likely that a face at all disfigured would have attracted my attention.

Barely Disfigured

Monte Cristo took off the wig which disfigured him, and let fall his black hair, which added so much to the beauty of his pallid features. Mine enemies have grown powerful and have disfigured the likeness of my doctrine, so that my dearest ones have to blush for the gifts that I gave them.

  1. Disfigure | Definition of Disfigure by Merriam-Webster.
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Disfigurement is the state of having one's appearance deeply and persistently harmed medically, such as from a disease, birth defect , or wound. General societal attitudes towards disfigurement have varied greatly across cultures and over time, with cultures possessing strong social stigma against it often causing psychological distress to disfigured individuals.


Alternatively, many societies have regarded some forms of disfigurement in a medical, scientific context where someone having ill will against the disfigured is viewed as anathema. In various religious and spiritual contexts, disfigurement has been vaoriously described as being as a punishment from the divine for sin such as Yahweh 's defacement of Cain for Abel 's murder in Judaism , as being such as Paul of the New Testament 's arguments about Christ 's sufferings caused by supernatural forces of hate and evil against the good and just, which will be later atoned for, or as being without explanation per se with people just having to endure.

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The topic has been frequently commented on and referred to in a great many forms of fictional media as well. Villainous examples include the iconic fiend The Joker from various DC Comics and the mysterious figure with a "red right hand" from the song of the same name by band Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Heroic examples include Daredevil , a crime-fighter who was rendered blind from Marvel Comics , and the compassionate character Edward Scissorhands from the film of the same name.

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Disfigurement, whether caused by a benign or malignant condition, often leads to severe psychosocial problems such as negative body image ; depression ; difficulties in one's social, sexual, and professional lives; prejudice; and intolerance. This is partly due to how the individual copes with looking 'visibly different', though the extent of the disfigurement rarely correlates with the degree of distress the sufferer feels. An additional factor which affects sufferers of a disfigurement is the reaction they get from other people. Studies have shown that the general population respond to people with a disfigurement with less trust, less respect and often try to avoid making contact or having to look at the disfigurement.

Meet the disfigured man whose embrace with Pope Francis warmed hearts

Disfigurements affecting visible areas such as the face, arms and hands are thought to present greater difficulty for sufferers to cope with than do other disfigurements. Deliberate mutilation resulting in physical disfigurement has also been practiced by many cultures throughout human history for religious or judicial purposes.

During the Byzantine Empire , the emperor was considered God's viceregent on Earth, and as such the physical wholeness of his person was an essential complement to the perfection of Heaven. For this reason, many deposed emperors were blinded, had their noses cut off , or their tongue split by their successors, as these permanent disfigurements disqualified them from ever reclaiming the throne.

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Botticelli's "Christ Crowned with Thorns. Sygma via Getty Images Neave concluded that Jesus looked a lot like every other man of the times because the Bible states that just before the crucifixion, Judas Iscariot had to point Jesus out to his soldiers because they could not tell him apart from his disciples.

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Rag'n'Bone Man - Disfigured - Sofar London