Parenthood
Boy With Down Syndrome Wins Modeling Contract
Talent agencies rejected him because he had Down Syndrome, but he won a modeling contract anyway.
D.G. Sciortino
03.28.18

Meagan Nash knows her son Asher is just as cute as any other kid that you’d meet. But talent agencies repeatedly turned down the 18-month-old for work for one reason… he has Down syndrome.

The agency told Nash that they wouldn’t be submitting Asher’s pictures for a clothing store’s casting call.

She eventually found out that this was because the agency just assumed that the clothing retailer wouldn’t want to use a child with special needs, according to Fox 6. So, Nash took to Facebook to vent her frustrations. She posted her son’s photos on the Changing Face of Beauty Facebook page.

Meagan Ritcher Nash
Source:
Meagan Ritcher Nash

“We aren’t giving up! This handsome boy is ready to show the world what#changingthefaceofbeauty is!” she wrote in her caption.

“We would love to model for OshKosh B’gosh Carter’s / Oshgosh B’Gosh Distribution Center Carter’s Babies”R”Us Changing the Face of Beauty. Let’s make a difference and join #50in2017! #Ashersdownrightperfect
#downsyndrome #nothingdownaboutit #t21#theluckyfew #dslove #downsyndromeawareness”

Asher's Down Right Perfect
Source:
Asher's Down Right Perfect

The Change the Face of Beauty page reposted Nash’s photo with the caption, “Hey OshKosh B’Gosh what do you say? Won’t you help us in #changingthefaceofbeauty?”

Nash’s pictures of Asher ended up going viral and were also shared with pages like the Kids With Down Syndrome Facebook page.

“It’s important to feature people with special needs in advertisements for three reasons. The first reason is inclusion. People with disabilities want to be included among their peers in life in general and being seen in advertisement is a part of that,” Nash told CNN.

Asher's Down Right Perfect
Source:
Asher's Down Right Perfect

“The second reason, which is very near and dear to my heart, is acceptance. Without truly accepting my son and others with special needs, there can be no inclusion for them in the future. And the last reason is respect. Using people with special needs shows the world that these people have value and worth just like any typical person does.”

She ended up getting a call from OshKosh B’Gosh for a meeting.

“I don’t want [OshKosh] to use him because of this fuss we are making on the Internet. I want them to use him because they value him and see how much he could contribute to their advertisement,” Nash said.

Asher's Down Right Perfect
Source:
Asher's Down Right Perfect

Asher ended up being chosen for the kids clothing company’s holiday campaign.

“OshKosh B’gosh enjoyed spending time with Asher and his family earlier this week and hearing their perspective. We appreciate Ms. Nash’s passion for greater inclusiveness of children with special needs in advertising. … We are committed to evolving our process to ensure that in the future children with special needs are better represented in our advertising campaigns,” a company spokesperson told ABC 7.

Nash said she felt accomplished that her son would be featured in such a prominent campaign.

Asher's Down Right Perfect
Source:
Asher's Down Right Perfect

“It made me feel really good, as his mom, as his advocate,” Nash, who also works with the Down Syndrome Association of Atlanta, said. “I feel accomplished. I feel like I set out to tell Asher’s story, to be heard, for him to be heard. And that is exactly what happened, we were heard. Our message was delivered.”

Learn more about Asher’s story in the video below.

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By D.G. Sciortino
hi@sbly.com
D.G. is a contributing writer in Shareably. She's based in Connecticut and can be reached at hi@shareably.net.
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