It’s long been a sad fact for models – companies are only interested in a few looks, and if you don’t fit in that vision, then getting modeling gigs, already a tough task, becomes almost impossible. That seems to go double for those who are handicapped, disabled or anything else that doesn’t fit as normal. This video shows one toddler, Asher Nash, breaking through that barrier.
At first, agencies weren’t passing along the photos of Asher because of his having Down Syndrome. His mother was not accepting that at all and started questioning these decisions on social media, which is a very good outlet… and a great way to get people’s attention. Oshkosh-B-Gosh got wind of what was going on and they had the family come in. They were so smitten with Asher that they decided to put him on the cover of their Christmas catalog.
It saddens me that anyone could look at these photos of Asher and not be struck by his irrepressible personality. He looks so happy in every photo – why wouldn’t a company want someone with that beautiful beaming smile gracing the covers of their catalogs. It’s really beneficial to their image to be thought of as being all-inclusive… which means more people of all types would buy their things… which then means their bottom line vastly improves.
This shouldn’t be thought of as merely a cynical PR ploy, though. Oshkosh knows there is a diverse range of children throughout the world, and there are a lot of Down Syndrome kids out there. They deserve to be recognized for who they are and celebrated as being really sweet human beings. This is a good first step in the right direction for Oshkosh and the other companies that featured him. Let’s hope for many more.
I’m glad that Oshkosh did this, but they shouldn’t have needed social media to prompt them to do the right thing. One day, all the companies won’t do the right thing.
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