The Centre for Appearance Research held their 4th Appearance Matters conference at the historical Wills Memorial Building in Bristol on 22 and 23 June. The conference brought together 168 international delegates, amongst them psychologists, researchers, specialist nurses, academics, postgraduate students, medical professionals, sociologists and charity representatives with an interest in issues around the psychology of appearance.
Clockwise from top left: Prof Nichola Rumsey and Dr Diana Harcourt, CAR directors, with keynote speaker Prof Alex Clarke (centre); delegates networking and admiring the poster displays in the Great Hall; a visitor studies one of the paintings from the Saving Faces exhibition; delegates in a presentation. [Photos courtesy of Paul Hobbs photography]
The event was supported by the charities Healing Foundation and Changing Faces, which fund and assist people living with disfigurement and campaign to change public perceptions of those with visible differences. Saving Faces, the Facial Surgery Research Foundation also lent the conference some paintings by Mark Gilbert that portray patients before, during or after surgery for injury, disfigurement or cancer.
Professor Alex Clarke, Royal Free Hospital London, and Professor Lina Ricciardelli, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia gave the keynote speeches. Across the two days delegates also attended presentations and workshops, which highlighted the scope and quality of research in areas including working with patients, adolescents, user involvement, the impact of new media on body image, young people and visible difference, cancer, weight, interventions and surgery.
Dr Diana Harcourt (co-director of CAR) spoke really positively about this year’s conference: “Worldwide, interest in the psychology of appearance has increased greatly in recent years. The Appearance Matters conferences are an international forum for research across all aspects of appearance and the 4th event has been an absolute success. As ever, we were pleased to welcome delegates from both clinical and academic backgrounds, and from many parts of the world including Malaysia, the United States, Australia, South America and across Europe and the UK. Our highly respected keynote speakers Alex Clarke and Lina Ricciardelli both spoke engagingly about their research and the workshops and presentations prompted lively discussion amongst attendees. Now we just have to start planning for Appearance Matters 5…”
For more information contact Emma Thomas