CTFOB on ACCEPTANCE……
Dear Change Makers,
I was thinking the other day just how interesting my daily life and schedule are. Running from after school practice to games. Ensuring homework and homeschool are completed, laundry done, and dinner made. It’s crazy. I am lucky to have a partner who is really 50% or he might say 60% or even 70% invested in helping with these things, but lets not give him all the credit! I never in my life saw this coming. I loved the thought of being a stay at home mom but as I look back I made decisions in my careers so that working was easier on our family instead of staying home 100%. I always needed something to make me feel like I was contributing to our family and to the world. Who would have thought I would run a successful nonprofit? I just wanted to be a photographer. I guess my own story had other plans. Plans that included my daughter.
Yesterday I mentioned that Grace is a big part of the representation of Changing the Face of Beauty.
She attends all the behind the scenes meetings as we work to influence and push the message forward. Believe me she would probably tell you some of the events are boring, but some are just the opposite, they are amazing! Her ability to sit in a conference room as we go over strategy or high five participants as they finish their head shot session makes me so proud. Traveling together is not always easy for either of us but she is a trooper and rarely does she complain.
I have to think that part of this journey was put in place for us to give her the opportunities that we initially assumed would never be an option. Traveling from state to state, attending to people in chaotic environments and essentially going with the flow. Never in my life did I think my daughter would meet CEO’s of companies, witness NYFW or sit on the couch of one of the most prestigious advertising firms in the world. Never ever. I fully underestimated her future.
Thank goodness our story was different, thank goodness for change and thank goodness we have been able to witness a lot of it.
I guess this note comes from feeling grateful. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to introduce the world to my muse. Every day. It makes working for change in an industry that is so hesitant that much more rewarding. It makes the message and the end goal that much more clear.
Our community is talking about the difference between awareness and acceptance.
I think it is an excellent conversation to have. It is one that can not be pushed on the world. It is one that has to be shown. I firmly believe there will be no blanket acceptance for our community until the WORLDS VOICE actually recognizes that our community exists.
You can not accept someone who is not valued or seen by that voice and that voice comes from ADVERTISING and MEDIA. We have let social media, brands and commercial imagery take over our thoughts and perceptions.
Someone said to me we see 10,000 images a DAY! Ask yourself how many of those images represent the disability community? I wouldn’t dare to put a number on it because it would be depressing. I guarantee the average person with no connection to the disability community would be less then 1% a WEEK or even a month.
We can change that you know, we can organize and ask for more. We can shop at inclusive brands who do pay attention and communicate value in their advertising. We can frequent media sites that include people with disabilities and we can support shows that represent our families. We can change this. We WILL change this but it will take work. So instead of asking for acceptance, work on making changes to ensure it.
Ask your retailers to include. Join the movement.
This month we celebrate so many different disabilities and diagnosis’s. Use that awareness to communicate acceptance in our media. We need your voice.
Consider posting up a picture of you or your family and asking YOUR favorite retailer to include the disability community in their advertising. It is a simple request because ANYONE, ANYWHERE can and could be a part of this community at any time. I can’t wait to see how this cultivates the real ACCEPTANCE we all crave.