The room rings out with the cruel nicknames that have haunted the teenagers for years: Crusty crab. Burnt toast. Snake skin. Freddy Krueger’s daughter. Mutant. Scarface.
For the first time, it’s the burn victims themselves who are shouting them.
The exercise is emotionally excruciating but also empowering for these girls, who come from all over the world to attend Angel Faces, an annual retreat east of Los Angeles. Some were injured as infants; others arrive just months after a devastating accident. Several girls lost a parent or a sibling in the disaster that maimed them.
The program uses group counseling, role playing and art therapy to heal emotional scars and teach strategies to cope with never-ending teasing, staring and probing questions. The retreat’s softer side boosts body image with massages, facials, hair styling and makeovers by a professional cosmetologist who teaches the girls how to use specialty make-up to minimize their scars.
READ MORE: Click below.the original article from Associated Press, written by Gillian Flaccus