Changing the Face of Beauty with the Mighty Acorn Foundation

Hi All!

It is difficult to put into words the magic that happened just down the road from my house a week ago.  So many emotions wrapped up in those 2 days and for me (Katie) one of the largest projects I have had the opportunity to be a part of.  From beginning to end, I have to say, every step was a learning experience that I am grateful for.
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I met Denise DeMarchis, founder of Matilda Jane and the Mighty Acorn Foundation five short months ago.  She immediately understood what it meant to be seen in media and advertising.  She is a big dreamer and knew right away she wanted to do something to push the envelope.  She wanted to challenge her friends and the companies she worked beside for so many years to get on board and think about changing the way they advertise their designs.
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These companies not only got on board but they actually showed up!   None of us will forget those 17 girls who represented their designs with true and pure beauty.   I was asked what my hopes were for this project and a flood of emotion came over me.  There are so many hopes that run through my mind during every project but the outcomes are always far beyond what I could have ever imagined.  This project was no different, 17 girls left feeling strong, beautiful and important and 9 companies left questioning their future advertising campaigns.  That is pretty amazing.
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I know I talk about it all the time but I believe opportunities like these matter because what we see every day matters.  Although we might feel that imagery is superficial we are still influenced by it.  I know this world is a big place and the opportunity for change is vast.  I have to believe that each and every situation we have to influence another person's perception and open their mind to something they never even thought about before is important.  That person might just take what they have learned and share it with someone else.  They might even consider hiring a person living with an intellectual disability.  That is what this is all about you know.  Futures, independence and opportunity for all people living with a difference.  I believe advertising is that powerful.
"You may not always have a comfortable life and you will not always be able to solve all the worlds problem's at once but don't ever underestimate the importance you can have because history has shown us that courage can be contagious and hope can take on a life of its own." - Michelle Obama
I hope the mission behind this project grows and brings inspiration to others.  Individuals living with disabilities are the largest minority in the world and remain the most under represented in the media as well as the work force.  That needs to change and I believe it will change as long as we continue to talk about it.
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I can not thank Mighty Acorn Foundation enough for believing in the future of my daughter and yours.  I appreciate them standing up and investing in a cause that will change the world for our children.  They will be compiling the pictures into a beautiful look books that will be given to each participating company so they too can share the mission of inclusion with their consumers.
And to the companies that participated Matilda Jane, Oilily USA, Livie and Luca, Mustard Pie, Persnickety, Kpea Originals, North American Bear, Lemon Loves Lime, Birthday Express and Buy Costumes THANK YOU for making these girls even more beautiful by dressing them in your stylish designs!
A special thanks for Kelle Hampton for attending the event and capturing on video the beauty and interactions of 17 girls from all backgrounds and abilities.
Look for updates on Mighty Acorn's website in the coming weeks.  They will be auctioning all the clothing and shoes the designers so kindly donated to help support future projects as well as help GiGi's Playhouse Oak Forest rebuild after loosing their building they moved into last fall.  The gifts keep on giving!
OX Katie

Welcome

WOW what a year it has been and continues to be!  We are over whelmed by the media attention our campaign has had and continues to receive.  Our goal was always to continue the conversation about integration in the media and advertising as well as encourage others to do the same.

Why isn't advertising more integrated?

Our Campaign has been featured on........

Huffington Post 3 times!
Article 1
Article 2
Article 3

Chicago Tribune

The Today Show

Today online

ABC News 

Good Morning America

FOX News

People Magazine

Redbook

Buzzfeed

Babble

To name a FEW!

We are continually looking for new opportunities to assist companies with a more integrated media message.  If you are in need of help in finding talent please contact us and we would be happy to help you through our social media channels.  If you are looking for opportunity in modeling feel free to contact our partners because we are not a modeling agency.

Markus Giolas at Real Talent, Inc here in Chicago.  He is a staffing agent and can guide you.

Gail Williamson at Down Syndrome in the Arts and Media in Hollywood.  She has and continues to be an excellent reference for models of all abilities nationwide.

Please do connect with us on Facebook, we often share open casting calls for our own projects as well as other projects shared with us.

Here is a sample of our most recent work.

                                                                 "Back to School 2014"
















Our goal was to create images that included models of all abilities.  We felt it was important for all children to be able to relate to the back to school imagry.  If you would like to see more of this shoot as well as a behind the scenes video you can check out 

Special thanks to RUUM, TEA Collection, The Good Ones, Seam Collection, and CHOOZE for styling our gorgeous kids!

Thank you for visiting our site and feel free to look around!  Don't leave without connecting with us as well as checking out our gorgeous gallery of children and young adults of all abilities!  





Changing the Face of Beauty Gallery Exhibit - Chicago IL

We were so thrilled by the gallery exhibit showcasing 18 models here in Chicago who happen to be living with a disability.  Micheal Canavan of Michael Canavan Photography donated his time to Changing the Face of Beauty and participated in a commercial photo shoot for all 18 models and then created a beautiful gallery exhibit this past June where creatives as well as families and friends came to view his work!

We are very thankful to SolidLine Media for creating this amazing video for us!





We know perceptions were changed that night and we are so very thankful to all who participated!
























Our hope is that all advertisers will include everyone in their advertising campaigns all the time.

Welcome

Thank you for visiting Changing the Face of Beauty we are so glad you are here!  The most important thing you must do while you are here is visit our gallery.  It is filled with beautiful children and young adults who are proudly representing all individuals with disabilities.  We here at Changing the Face of Beauty feel that it is so important for all people to see themselves in advertising and the media.  We believe it is such a key part of true integration and acceptance.  1 in 4 people in our country have a disability.  We feel that is too many people under represented in our media today.

If you are interested in hearing more about our campaign please feel free to contact anyone listed in the contact area and we will get back to you as soon as possible!  Thank you again for stopping by and we look forward to "Changing the Face of Beauty" with your help.



We are love, love, lovin the growth of our beautiful gallery!  Without these gorgeous faces we would not have a campaign.  We are very thankful to the families of these beautiful children and young adults, as well as for the photographers that capture the light they have.  This takes team work!

We know that anyone who looks at this gallery will know why it is so very easy to include all individuals with disabilities into their advertising!




We have been in contact with 2 companies that not only agree with our campaign but they love the faces of our gallery.  Who knows what the future holds but I want to send a shout out to both of these amazing retailers for what they already do to include individuals with disabilities in their advertising every year!

Infantino - They too believe everyone should be represented in advertising and they do just that through their "Everyone Can Play" advertising campaign photographed by the amazing Kelle Hampton.  If you have not seen the awesome work she did last year and yet again this year please check out their Facebook page!  We want to say thank you to Infantino for recognizing the beauty in all children of all abilities!



Toys R Us - They love all kids and make it a point to include children of all abilities!  They have not only included models in their advertising through their annual Toy Guide for Differently Abled Kids.  They have also helped fundraise both in the store and online 16 million dollars for Autism Speaks.  Awesome!  We love how they have made it a priority to include all children.



I hope you enjoy browsing through our beautiful models!  If you have any questions about our models or our campaign please feel free to ask!  We love to hear from you!  If you are interested in supporting Changing the Face of Beauty in anyway we want to hear from you too!  We would not be where we are today if it were not for the amazing moms and dads that have jumped on our team!  As well as the photographers who have donated their time to help our families with digital images!  To all of you we are so very thankful!









October, Down Syndrome Awareness Month





We are thrilled to have so many families behind our campaign that encourages all advertisers to use individuals who happen to have disabilities in advertising all the time.  We could not make this happen without all of you!

With it being Down Syndrome Awareness Month we are thrilled to celebrate with the families who have a child or a loved one with that rocking extra chromosome.  It is up to you to make a difference this month.  So be loud so that you are heard and celebrate that amazing individual who has changed the way you look at the world.  The person who helps you define beauty.  I am excited to see what this month brings!  Don't forget to share with us your missions, blog posts, pictures, what ever you might use to celebrate that loved one!  We love reading your posts and hearing from you!  It inspires us to continue and keep working for what is right.



We here at Changing the Face of Beauty are very excited about the partnership we have with IDSC and our National Billboard Campaign we just launched together at the end of last month!  This is yet another way for us all to share our loved ones with the world.  I firmly believe the more our children are out making a difference the more they will be accepted in our society.  Our children are beautiful no matter what diagnosis they were born with.  They matter and we celebrate them this month!

Keep your photos coming!  We love watching the gallery grow!  If you are interested in having your child become a part of Changing the Face of Beauty please send 1 professional picture to katie@changingthefaceofbeauty.org with their NAME, AGE and LOCATION in the subject line.  We will get them added to the gallery as soon as we can!

Also for photographers!  We love to see our list grow!  If you are interested in donating your time to Changing the Face of Beauty please send your name and contact information!  We would love to add you!

Happy October Everyone!



PS if you would like to sponsor a billboard please check out IDSC and click donate and note that donation for the National Billboard Campaign.  Lets get this message out there together!

We are so excited to participate in the National Down Syndrome Awareness Billboard Campaign with International Down Syndrome Coalition for Life!  This is a match made in heaven.   We are thrilled that they love our Models as much as we do.  The message they send daily over social media that every life is precious and should be celebrated.

The billboards will be a collaboration of Changing the Face of Beauty Models as well as Photographers and IDSC's messages and graphic designs.  Our hope is that everyone will be able to pass a beautiful billboard as they are driving along major highways in not only the United States but around the world!

We can not do this alone we need help from you!  If you are interested in sending this message to your neighbors and community please check out the IDSC website and adopt a billboard.  You can do so anywhere from 250.00 - 1,800.00.  When you make your donation make sure you provide a note stating you would like your donation to go to the Billboard campaign!

Lets join together and send this message across the nation....across the WORLD!

OXOX Katie and Steve