We live in an age where advertising and marketing strategies are gradually evolving to better represent and include all facets of society. Some fashion brands have embraced elderly models, while others have ceased the practice of heavily retouching photos of models. Despite these positive shifts, there is still much progress to be made.
Recently, a devoted mother named Meagan Nash encountered a disheartening situation when she submitted pictures of her son to the children’s clothing company Oshkosh B’Gosh, hoping he could become a model. Her son, Asher, is a 15-month-old toddler living in Georgia, USA.
Meagan was excited when Oshkosh B’Gosh announced a model search, and she believed Asher was an ideal fit for their campaign. He met all the criteria: the right height, hair color, and eye color. She eagerly submitted his photos but received no response.
Undeterred, Meagan reached out to company representatives to inquire about the status of Asher’s application. Their response was shocking and hurtful. They explained that they were not interested in using Asher because they did not want “a baby with special needs.”
Meagan was taken aback by this response. While she understood that not every child could be selected as a model, it seemed unjust to deny her son this opportunity simply because he has Down syndrome.
Determined to make a positive change and show the world the potential of children like Asher, Meagan took matters into her own hands. She shared pictures of Asher on the Facebook group “Kids with Down’s syndrome.” The photos, taken by photographer Crystal Barbee, featured Asher dressed in a blue denim shirt and a bow tie, exuding charm and personality.
Meagan accompanied the images with a message directed at the company that had rejected 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.”
The response to Asher’s photos was overwhelming, with over 100,000 likes on Facebook. Meagan explained that she was collaborating with the Changing the Face of Beauty organization and striving to persuade Oshkosh to feature Asher in their advertisements. Importantly,
Meagan clarified that it was an agency, not the clothing company itself, that had initially turned down her son’s application.