Friday, October 21, 2016

Disability Awareness Month || Changing the Face of Beauty

Hi guys! I wanted to share one of my favorite organizations with you today that I think is doing remarkable work for the disability community. Changing the Face of Beauty is all about trying to make our media--from advertising, to fashion, to media--inclusive by integrating people who are disabled into the media we see all around us. Man oh man this is a big deal. As I said when I first started this month long focus on Disability Awareness: I see the need for for a world that includes my daughter in their advertising, in their architecture, in their education systems and in the workforce. You cannot live and be a productive member of society with real opportunity and real equality--unless PEOPLE SEE YOU.  Here is a quick interview with CTFOB founder Kathryn Driscoll. Enjoy!

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Miggy: How did Changing the Face of Beauty come about? 

Kathryn: CTFOB came about after my daughter Grace was born. Having a girl after 5 boys changed everything. Grace was immediately born into the largest minority in the world, the disability community. I recognized how underrepresented she was as well as how under represented our family was. I want for Grace what I want for my boys. I want her to live in a world that sees and values her as a human being. I believe advertising is the only industry that can change perceptions in her lifetime.


Miggy: Why does the world need CTFOB? In other words, why is it important to include disabled people in the media and in the world around them? Obviously, this is important for us personally...but why should every one else care?

Kathryn: Our world is visual. I heard the other day that the average person sees over 10,000 images a day! Wow! That is a lot of images. Unfortunately the disability community is rarely seen in those 10,000 images. In our world those images attach value to products and people. They influence our wants, needs as well as perceptions and values.  I believe as long as the disability community remains invisible in advertising and media it will continue to be a struggle for opportunity, independence and employment. How can you hire a person you are not familiar with?  

1 in 5 families know or care about someone with a disability. That is 20% of the population that believes it matters for the disability community to be seen. 

The question why does it matter for other people outside of the disability community is a good one. I guess I have to answer that in business terms. It is a good business decision. Brands like Nordstrom recognize the value in communicating to all their diverse consumers because it has been a super positive experience them as well as making perfect business sense for the last 20 years. With 154 million companies in the world right now there are very few brands that can afford to ignore this large minority that does not discriminate  At any time any one of us can and could possibly be a part of this community.

Magazines and brands need to know we are all consumers regardless of ability. We are not asking them to do anything special, we are asking them to include the largest minority in the world. We are asking them to make sure the 15% of kids who have a disability are no longer ignored by making sure there message speaks to everyone. We are asking them to do what they should have done along time ago and that is actually see my family and your family. Marketing, advertising and content are very much about sales, views and revenue. So they need to know that by leaving out the disability community they are not only leaving out a global minority group the size of China but they are also leaving out their friends and family who are all extremely brand loyal consumers.
Miggy: What do you know now, that you didn't know before you had a child with special needs?

Kathryn: Wow! I know a lot more.  I guess I know people, all types of people and I respect others so much more.  Before my daughter I had a lot of compassion for people who where different.  You could probably say I felt sorry for or pitied people who had different abilities than I did.  I realize now that was because I was unfamiliar.  I was not regularly exposed to the disability community and so I probably under estimated what a person with Down syndrome could do until I had my daughter.  The second I received that prenatal diagnosis I was determined to change the stigma that I personally believed.  The world is a beautiful place filled with endless opportunity for anyone who would like to reach up for it.  I believe that now more then ever.

I am attaching our sheet of where we are and where we are going.  If they are interested in a partnership that can help with with promotion and casting of future projects they can check out http://changingthefaceofbeauty.org/partner-with-changing-the-face-of-beauty-2/



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