Beauty & Fashion
We’re REALLY Excited About Gap’s New Campaign Featuring Models with Down Syndrome
Written by Cynthia Onyejiji | August 27, 2015
I can literally count on my fingers the number of times that I’ve seen a true representation of myself on the television screen or in a magazine. The times are way too far and uncomfortably too few.
Now, if it’s like that for me, as an African-American woman, I can only imagine what it’s like for those with disabilities or those who simply don’t fit into the cookie-cutter mold of what society considers beautiful. These individuals have pretty much been shunned and ostracized by society and implicitly told that their kind of beauty is unacceptable, or worse, offensive.
First of all…
Second of all…
This is NOT the only face of beauty. It’s one face, but definitely not the ONLY one. Beauty comes in many different shapes, shades and capabilities. Brands that choose to focus on only ONE type of beauty do such a disservice to God’s amazing work. Seriously. He’s probably scratching His head wondering:
“What about the rest of my children? I put a lot of work into them. Are they not beautiful, too?”
I’m asking myself the same thing! When I turn on the TV and continuously see ONE type of beauty, it makes me believe that God may have made a mistake on me. But then I look in the mirror and think:
If it’s not me, then it must be the media that’s causing me to doubt myself and to have low self-esteem. That is why whenever I hear about brands that are using “nontraditional” models in their advertisements, I jump for joy and even bust out a few cartwheels (or at least I attempt to).
A few months ago, we praised Target for highlighting and celebrating different body types. And now, we’re raising the roof (do people still do that?) for Gap, which featured models with Down syndrome in a recent fashion show. This is all part of its campaign called “Changing the Face of Beauty,” which seeks to get more brands to feature people with disabilities in advertisements.
Yay Gap!!! This news has me so excited. One of the models who will be walking in the show is Kayla, age nine, who applied for the opportunity after seeing the call that went out for kids with Down syndrome. Take a look at how beautiful she is:
I love it! And I admire Gap for taking this step. It’s just so important for young girls—of all races, shapes and capabilities—to see a representation of themselves in the media, especially in the worlds of beauty and fashion. God created each of us to be different. The best way to give Him thanks for that is by showcasing ALL of his work, not just a select few. The Kaylas of the world deserve a chance to shine. So I salute brands like Gap and Target that are giving people like Kayla a platform and allowing them to show the world what our God is made of.