But the one thing in almost all of these happy ads that will be sorely missing is the fact that it's not just the beautiful model kids in ads that are going to school. All kids are beautiful. And almost all kids, of age, will be going to school this fall. This includes kids with special needs like Alaina. She was just as excited to pick out her pencil box and what colors she wanted her folders to be last week as any other child in that aisle was. ALL children should be represented in ALL advertising...not just back to school ads. I purchase clothes, shoes and every other thing a kid needs for Alaina just like my other 2 kids. So why aren't they being represented in more ads?
When I do purchase school supplies and many clothes and shoes...I make no bones about where I prefer to shop. There is one company that has consistently - and for many years now - has made it common practice to include all types of kids in their advertising. Target. Goooood ol' Target.
When Alaina was about to turn 3, we got an email from a friend saying the Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota had been contacted by Target and asked parents to submit photos of their kids if would like them to be considered by their advertising group. So we submitted a photo and the rest has been history. I can't tell you how wonderful they have been to work with and how they have treated us every time we've been there. We were there for a casting call last summer and there was a slew of people in and out of that office. And I tell ya, there were ALL KINDS of beautiful kids there. Typical kids and kids with special needs of all different types. It was pretty awesome.
The fact that Target recognizes that ALL kids go to school....ALL kids buy and wear their clothes and shoes...ALL kids buy and play with their toys. ALL kids should be represented. It's time for other companies to step up their game, in my opinion. I mean, ok, I could be a tad biased, but who would NOT want this child to model for them??? Here is our little history with Target....
|This was in their holiday 2011 ad. She was 3 years old.|
|This was a shoot we did this winter 2015 for the Easter ad. It did not get used but another ADORABLE little girl with Down syndrome had her shot used. Still a win to us!|
|And the most recent ad|
So don't be afraid to tell Target THANK YOU for valuing ALL kids and representing them in their advertising! And if, somehow, you have some mad connections to the advertising world, show them the pictures of our kiddos and tell them ALL PEOPLE need to be represented in their ads as well!
Honestly, I could go on and on about this subject, but really, nothing more needs to be said. It's time. I just want to give a shout out to Target for recognizing this fact years ago - it's just a shame other major companies haven't followed suit. If they ever decide to, hopefully they know we have a real seasoned model waiting for the call! ;)