We live in an age where advertising and ads are changind to reflect society as a whole. Of late we’ve seen fashion labels champion elderly models, plus-sized models and models with disabilities, as well as steadily putting the brakes on the practice of retouching photos. Having said that, we still have a long way to go.
When one loving mother sent in pictures of her son to children’s clothing company Oshkosh B’Gosh, the management wasn’t at all interested in using him as a model. The reason? The boy has Down syndrome. Meagan Nash and her family live in the US state of Georgia.
When children’s clothing company Oshkosh B’Gosh announced that they were looking for models, Meagan got excited and sent in photos of her 15-month-old son, Asher. The toddler perfectly fit the company’s requirements. He was the right height, he had the right hair color, and his eyes were the right color, too.
But after Meagan sent in photos of her son, she didn’t hear a word back.
Meagan contacted representatives from the company, who told her that they weren’t interested in using Asher in their upcoming campaign, because they didn’t want “a baby with special needs.”
“Did they say they were not casting a baby with special needs?” the mother hit back, according to The Independent. Meagan was angry and frustrated. Sure, she could understand that not every child gets the chance to be a model, but to deny her son just because he has an extra chromosome? Meagan wished that the company had thought it through and realized how much Asher would have been able to bring them. Fuelled by anger, she decided to act.
She posted pictures of her son Asher in the Facebook group “Kids with Down’s syndrome.” Photographer Crystal Barbee’s photographs of Asher wearing a blue denim shirt and bow tie were an instant success. Meagan wrote a message to the company that turned down her son: “Let’s make a difference – share so they see Asher!
“This handsome boy is ready to show the world what Changing the Face of Beauty is really about.” At time of writing, Asher’s photos have been liked over 100,000 times on Facebook.“We are working with Changing the Face of Beauty organization and trying to get Oshkosh to use him in their advertisements,” Meagan wrote in the post, stressing that it was an agency, not the clothing company, that had turned down her son.
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