Thank You target, for your disability inclusion
Whoever the executive team is at Target that is working hard to include disabilities in their advertising and children's fashion line should be applauded. I came upon this Huffington Post article today about a boy named Charlie who has Cerebral Palsy who saw a large promotional picture of a boy standing with a walker. He was so happy to see an image of a boy who he could relate to.
As his mom, Jamie Sumner explains, “I watched Charlie watch the sign. I watched the recognition of kin for kin, like for like. And it was beautiful.” she wrote in an Instagram post about the experience.
This isn't the first time Target has included children with disabilities in their advertising campaign. In April of last year they got recognition for including children with Downs Syndrome in their Easter season campaign.
Visual images of people with disabilities in advertising and themes of inclusiveness need to be happening more in our society. It reminds me of when JC Penny had a campaign a few years back that featured disabled mannequins in their store windows.
It may seem like very small gestures to have disabled people represented in marketing campaigns and store windows. But believe me, it is a very big deal. As someone who has looked different her entire life, seeing someone who looks different like you do, makes you feel not so alone. It legitimizes that different is not only "okay" it's "beautiful". It's worthy of being in the spotlight, hung from a store ceiling, featured in a store window, splashed across a center spread.
As Ms. Sumner reflected on her and Charlie's time at Target: “It sounds like such a small thing, but for us it is a nod from the world that we are being acknowledge [sic] and supported,” she wrote. “It’s just the beginning, I hope. I hope more disabilities and special needs pop up in clothing ads and commercials and on mainstream TV. But for now, I am so grateful to Target for making a start and for making us feel at home.”
Indeed, disability's time to become mainstream is long overdue. So thank you Target for seeing the whole world. We feel the love.
If we are to achieve a richer culture, we must weave one in which each diverse human gift will find a fittng place.
— Margaret Meade