Love Me, Love My Face – why everyone should watch it

If you missed the BBC documentary Love Me, Love My Face about Jono Lancaster who was born with Treacher Collins syndrome, then I strongly recommend you watch it. The rare genetic condition, which is believed to affect around 1 in 10,000 babies, means he was born with no cheekbones and hearing difficulties.

Jono Lancaster - Love Me Love My Face - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

The show focuses on Jono’s search for his biological parents who gave him up for adoption as they couldn’t accept his appearance. Because of the way he looked, doctors predicted that he might not be able to walk or talk, and that his mental ability would be limited. But this is not a typical result of Treacher Collins syndrome, and Jono has grown to be much like any other 26-year-old man; training at the gym, working full-time (as a support worker for people with learning difficulties), and happily in a long-term relationship.

For me, the relationship he has with adopted mother Jean, and girlfriend of four years, Laura Richardson, are what is important. Laura and Jono’s relationship has generated much media attention with some people finding hard to understand how Jono could find love looking the way he does. But Laura has never seen Jono as any different from everyone else; “even though his face looks different, he’s still attractive. He’s still got a gorgeous body, he wears nice clothes, he’s got nice hair, it’s not about one thing it’s the whole package. [When we met] to me he looked gorgeous so I didn’t care if other people stared.”

His adopted mother recalls how much she wanted to take him home and couldn’t understand how anyone could abandon such a lovely baby. After fighting low self-esteem as a child following years of bullying and having to deal with people assuming he is mentally disabled because he is physically different, Jono has accepted himself and is now on a mission to change the way people think about his face. He said “doctors always asked if I wanted corrective surgery… to get my cheek bones built up, my teeth straightened or my jaw broken and realigned, but despite how depressed I got I thought ‘God made me like this’. I’m glad I didn’t choose anything. I’m proud of who I am. And Treacher Collins made me who I am today.”

I strongly recommend watching this inspiring documentary. It’s a powerful example of how we should all look past physical appearance and not underestimate or prejudge. Visit BBC iPlayer to watch Love Me, Love My Face.

Jono Lancaster - image - inspiremagazineuk.wordpress.com

PS. Looking at this picture found on Jono’s Facebook page, I can understand why Laura likes him!

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November 26, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Inspiration.

22 Comments

  1. george tucker replied:

    its great to see that even when someone is told they cant do something they manage to push through it and live a great life, things like this make me smile! :)

    • lizransome replied:

      I’m glad it made you smile, there is such a warmth and sense of victory to this story.

  2. anne ratcliffe replied:

    Hi Jono and Laura.,
    Watched your program in Australia last night, what an inspiration you and laura are,i so admire you and wish you both all the best in your future life, i am originally from Huddersfield in yorkshire and have been left 37 years but still love to watch what is happenning in the uk., and your adopted mum is a lovely strong lady, you are so lucky to have her in your life.
    I wish you all the best and hopefully we can keep in touch with what is happening in your life, keep up your strength and good work you will be such an inspiration to people who have to face problems, regards annie Ratcliffe, Gold Coast Australia

  3. George peach replied:

    ITS ME :o

    • Liz R replied:

      Hi, thank you for your comments. Glad you like the feature. Are you like Jono because you have the same condition, or because you agree with the sentiment, or both?

  4. George peach replied:

    omg its me

  5. jono lancaster replied:

    yo yo – just come across this – brought a huge smile to my face….
    thanks so much
    very much appreciated
    xxxx

    • Liz R replied:

      Hi, glad you approve! You’re a real inspiration to people. I hope others take notice and realise that being yourself is a good thing – it’s all about who you are that makes you attractive.

  6. Jeff Clarke replied:

    Came across your programme while flicking through channels – fortunately I only missed a couple of minutes. Best programme I have ssen in ages! I found your attitude to life truly exilarating – I found I was smiling at so many points in the program, and then wishing more people could be so positive in their lives. Best of luck in the future – but you won’t need luck, your approach to life will bring you everything you want!

  7. paul todd replied:

    Me and my wife watch it last night, jono is a cracking lad and i only hope his real mam and dad were watching it and see what they are missing, he is a really happy go lucky person and i could not fault him one bit and i reallyhope he goes on and has a really good life, with or without his real parents.

  8. Collette Nadin replied:

    I watched the programme and I have the greatest respect for you and your girlfriend. It is so true that when a person has so much courage and determination it shines out of them. I was truely inspired by you and feel that many people could learn from you.I hope you are successful in all you do, now and in the future, God bless, Collette.

  9. Kerry replied:

    Just watched the programme on BBCi player and it was the best thing i’ve seen in ages. Jono’s attitude is truly inspiring…so positive, and also has the right perspective on life (which few people have). Was annoyed at the response of Jono’s biological parents at not wanting to see him, but the way he responded was remarkable..not bitter, truly a fantastic outlook on life. His mum has done a great job, real nice guy, and Laura is a really lovely person as well.. they make a great couple.

  10. Elaine replied:

    Jono – you are just like my son. I’m proud of him, fear for him and admire him just like your mum does. After your film, any prejudice or lack of understanding that I might have had has disappeared. Thank you.

  11. Russell replied:

    Hi Jono – Just watched the programme for the first time reshown on BBC1 . For me any disability you have didn’t even register . Your fantastic zest for life and positivity did !!! You are an inspiration in any case – the fact that you have faced so many problems in your life just makes the person you are all the more amazing . Laura is beautiful and you are a marvellous couple . Your mum also is just full of kindness and warmth – a wonderful lady . I wish I knew you all personally . Love and best wishes to you all . Russell

  12. john replied:

    I only caught the tail end of the documentary about Jono last night but it was heartwarming. Why the BBC showed it late and not at prime time is beyond me. Too much focus nowadays is on how people look, not who they are, and his attitude and personality could do a lot to change that.

    • Liz R replied:

      I couldn’t agree more. Hopefully a change is coming, especially with more shows like Katie Piper: My Beautiful Friends.

  13. SilentHill84 replied:

    I watched the documentary recently and I think the guy is great it’s a shame society is cruel to those a bit different. So what if his facial appearance isn’t like most people’s it wouldn’t bother me. I don’t judge others like that I would be friends with him. Honestly I don’t feel sorry for him but I mean that in a good way he is clearly a confident cool guy but It must be hard to be rejected by your birth parents and I can somewhat relate to him as I was given up for adoption as well and I have some slight learning difficulties. Although unlike Jono I have no desire to see my birth parents.

  14. Christina replied:

    I’m so glad i watched this documentary because it’s completely opened my eyes to how normal he is! He’d make a terrific dad and I wish him happiness xxx

  15. REME BOY replied:

    Hi jono and laura , watched your programme on BBC3 late night and all i can possibly say is wow , what an amazing and lovely couple that you both are . I am just simply humbled by watching your programme . Please take no notice about the sick ignorant comments made by a minorty of people . I conclude that they are ignorant and cowards and that they would not have the guts to even say their postings to your face . Once again very humbled by your story and our best wishes to you both for your future xx

  16. John replied:

    Jono, if your reading this, I can only suggest that you focus on the family that you have, if and when you ever meet your biological parents, they will probably disappoint you, I read a blog some years back from a teen girl that stated “for many of us, you don’t get to pick your family” being that she was adopted, and her biological family wanted nothing to do with her, her words were healing! to me, I sought all my life to know or even meet my father only to meet a total stranger, very painful, but! the young girl’s words gave me strength many years after the fact, stay strong dude, and love your woman, and love your self, and love your adopted mom, if anything at all, you have a family that loves you, and theres nothing more important than that, I wish you the best bro, and would be your friend (if possible) Peace. John in Nevada.

  17. Sirirak replied:

    This is so inspiring. Absolutely beautiful, gives me hope :’)

  18. Samara replied:

    What a lovely kind, sensitive and thoughtful man you are, Jono. Your wife is lucky to have you. And I think your first mum was wrong to give you up, and I’m betting that she has regretted it.

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