Changing the Face of Beauty

Changing the Face of Beauty is a social movement that encourages companies to use models with disabilities in their advertising. Back in November, the nonprofit created a campaign to get 15 companies in 2015 on-board with their mission. Now only three months into the year, they already outshined their goal with 80 retailers globally—and they’re just getting started.

Based on the overwhelming response to their efforts, it looks like the world was more than ready for someone to start changing the face of beauty.

That someone is Katie Driscoll, mom and photographer with the story that sparked the movement.

After having 5 sons, Katie and her husband assumed their 6th and final child would be a boy. To their amazement, they had an adorable baby girl who brought them joy, excitement and one extra chromosome. Embracing Grace’s Down syndrome, Katie and her family saw firsthand how beautiful human diversity can be.

“If there was one thing I was confident about, it was how much I loved that child,” said Katie.

While photographing her daughter for small boutiques, Katie’s friend, Steve English, reached out and suggested that Grace model some of his fair trade goods. Shortly after, Katie began photographing her daughter and other models with disabilities for Steve’s shop. From there, Changing the Face of Beauty was born.

Now with the help of Heather Rodriguez, Katie is taking on 2015 with a tenacious vision for their campaign to get 100 companies using models with disabilities.

“Our hope is to continue encouraging companies to create beautiful advertising imagery around human diversity of all types.  With their participation and help, we hope to stimulate more conversation around the community of people living with disabilities.”

In the short term, they want to encourage retailers to create awareness in the media. Yet their long term goal runs much deeper than the advertising.

“We hope to develop a program geared toward training and job placement. Our belief is that the more all people are seen in advertising, the bigger opportunity for personal growth and employment there is.  We want to help that happen through our work with advertising and also our partnerships to encourage more companies to not only represent but hire people living with disabilities in all fields.”

On an ambitious mission, Katie is putting her all into this movement as she balances being a mother to 6 kids and changing perceptions about disabilities one company at a time. Though no easy task, Katie is taking it in strides to raise thoughtful kids while creating an impact on a larger scale.

“This campaign is a lot of work. I work well into the night most days but I firmly believe it is extremely important to my daughter’s future,” said Katie. “I want to teach my children not to judge a book by its cover. They are not perfect but they have good hearts and the best part of being a mom is watching your babies grow into caring humans.”

To support Katie and join the #changingthefaceofbeauty campaign, ask your favorite retailers to consider including models with disabilities. Whether it’s an email, letter, tweet or simply a Facebook hashtag, brands are listening. Forward thinking companies care about their consumers and strive to make sure they feel appreciated.

“You can support the companies that are already participating by letting them know their decision matters. We have choices on where we spend our money and marketing messages should be considered,” said Katie.

Since the world could use more caring humans, let’s help in #changingthefaceofbeauty. Joining the movement is simple: all you need is your voice.



Connect with their campaign on Facebook or visit their website to see all the companies already Changing the Face of Beauty.

Written by: Michelle Lenzen

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