Catia has told me about an international initiative called Changing the Face of Beauty – its aim is to showcase appearance diversity in advertising. This year there is a campaign called #imready for #15in2015 – urging 15 retailers to include models with disabilities in 2015. In early January, Changing the Face of Beauty secured 15 retailers committed to appearance diversity in advertising. So good!
I love this campaign. It is is important that children – and adults – with a range of disabilities and facial differences are included in advertising and the media, and it’s equally important that society sees diversity represented. This will help to normalise difference.
Of course I believe this campaign should be a success in Australia too, and Catia (and others) is doing her bit to ensure it takes off through her social media efforts – Starting with Julius. The Australian hashtag is #15in2015AUS. Are you ready to help change the face of advertising?
“I believe that media representation equals employment opportunities for people living with disabilities.”
Changing the Face of Beauty is a conversation and a campaign encouraging companies to include models with disabilities as well as celebrating the companies that do already. Our goals have changes quite a bit since we launched this. The goal now is to show companies what it looks like to have diverse advertising imagery. I regularly hold photoshoots with models of all abilities and create images that show diversity as well as push social media conversations like #imready for #15in2015 . I hope to give a voice to those who are living with a disabilities as well as to the people who question why the community of people with disabilities is not represented. My hope was to influence companies to make the change. Advertisers want to follow trends. They want to meet the needs of their consumers. My thought is if their consumers were asking for change they just might listen.
I believe that media representation equals employment opportunities for people living with disabilities. My daughter was born 5 years ago with Down syndrome. Right now in the United States there is virtually no employment opportunities. Adults with Down syndrome as well as many other disabilities resort to long days at home with their parents with little or nothing to do. I don’t want that for my daughter or for anyone else for that matter. I believe the more our society is exposed to all types of people the more opportunities there will be out in the community and that includes employment. The future is being molded right now by imagery. The future CEOs are googling and keeping in touch on social media. I want imagery out there that shows them that diversity includes people with disabilities. I want their eyes to see differences regularly so they are not such a shock when they are exposed to people who might be different then they are in person. These images promote conversation and understanding both of those things are vital to the future of real change and inclusion in our world.
Changing the Face of Beauty is solely supported by my husband and I as well as amazing people and organizations who step in and offer to spread that message. I am always brainstorming with interested people on how we might collaborate to make the biggest impact possible, but the strongest form of support comes from conversation. By talking about expectations of the media and advertising promotes the opportunity of influencing perceptions. I encourage everyone to talk to anyone that will listen about the lack of representation of people living with disabilities in our world. Usually there is someone in every conversation who knows someone else that can really make a profound impact on that issue. The more people talking the bigger opportunity for change.”
How can you get involved:
Write to your favourite retailer.
“Hey (your favourite retailer) #IMREADY for change. We want YOU to include models with disabilities in 2015. We want YOU to be part of the #15in2015 . 15 retailers including models with disabilities in 2015. We know you see us. Represent us.”
Follow and talk about the campaign on Social Media.
#ImReadyAUS for #15in2015AUS
#ImreadyUK for #15in2015UK