These two photographers and mothers of children with disabilities want to change the world's outlook on people with disabilities.
Maria Jordan MacKeigan is a Canadian mother of two and Katie Driscoll is the mother of a girl with Down syndrome. More than anything, she wants people with disabilities to be valued. Professional photographers, these two women founded “Changing the Face of Beauty”, a temporary pop-up that allows children with disabilities to be photographed.
A lack of inclusiveness
These super moms want these photos to appear in advertisements and in the media so that children with disabilities are represented like everyone else. "I want to normalize the differences. I want to normalize the disabilities (…) I don't want people to be afraid of my daughter or to just go away. I want them to play with her and 'they accept it ", says Maria. "I think more brands would be more inclusive if it was easier to find talent", says Katie. "We want to give the disabled community the means to push talent agencies to be represented."
So, Katie Driscoll founded “Changing the Face of Beauty”, a non-profit organization. These professional sessions carried out by photographers and stylists are held in several cities including New York, Los Angeles but also several cities in Canada. A total of 30 photo shoots have been held over the past three years. "It's so magical to see them in front of the camera", Maria said of the children pictured. "You can see the real joy they are experiencing and a different beauty".
Careers in modeling already launched
Thanks to their initiative, Maria's daughter, Jordan Grace, landed a job as a model. "I am so proud of her that I want the whole world to know her", says the mother. "She's the kind of girl who walks and smells roses and notices the little things we don't notice."
In February, Lucas Warren, who has Down syndrome, was chosen as Gerber's spokesperson for 2018. In July 2020, the clothing brand “Aerie” launched a campaign featuring models in wheelchairs, wearing an insulin pump and using crutches.
To date, the organization has received engagement from over 100 companies who pledge to include models with disabilities in their advertising.
Children with disabilities find it difficult to attend school