Robert Hoge: The man who owns his “ugly” face

Born with a severely distorted face, Robert Hoge tells you why owning your own face is one the best things you will ever do for yourself

Robert Hoge was born what almost everyone would call “ugly”. With a tumour the size of a tennis ball in the middle of his face and severely distorted facial features and twisted legs that were useless, it was difficult even for his own mother to accept him initially.

After several complicated surgeries, the surgeons managed to remove the tumour and also built him a new nose from one of his toes. But he was destined to have a childhood full of ridicule. While the kids teased him with names like retard and toe-nose, adults too were often nasty and cruel. Such reactions made it difficult for Robert to accept his face. When he was 14 and he faced one of his biggest decisions in life, he had an epiphany, thanks to his brother’s profound and insightful comment and that’s the moment he “owned his face”.

A father, an author and a political advisor, Robert explores why we all need to own our own faces. Sharing his own personal story, he examines, life, love, beauty, imperfection and pain in this powerful TEDx Talk.

About Robert Hoge

Robert Hoge has worked as a journalist, a speechwriter, a science communicator for the CSIRO and a political advisor to the former Queensland Premier and Deputy Premier. He has had numerous short stories, articles, interviews and other works published in Australia and overseas. He also enjoys photography, disability advocacy and social engagement. While he never got far with his professional lawn bowls career, Robert did carry the Olympic torch in 2000. He lives in Brisbane, Australia with his wife and two lovely daughters. He is the author of Ugly, an inspiring memoir of his childhood which he has written for young readers. Find out more about him on his website
You can follow him on Twitter @RobertHoge


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