A 15-month-old boy with Down syndrome will soon be featured in OshKosh B’Gosh’s holiday advertising campaign. Asher Nash, who was initially rejected by an advertising agency stating the company wasn’t looking for kids with special needs, now has multiple ad contracts, including one from Babies ‘R’ Us.
Popular American children’s apparel company OshKosh B’Gosh has chosen 15-month-old Asher Nash to be a part of its holiday advertising campaign. Asher’s mother, Meagan Nash, was quite jubilant to learn that her son has been offered a spot in a 2017 Carter’s ad campaign.
Apart from OshKosh, baby Asher has several more companies approaching his parents with offers to cast him. Needless to say, these companies got wind of the intense publicity the boy with Down syndrome has been attracting for the last couple of months after his mother posted a heartfelt appeal on social media platforms. Asher’s mother had put up posts mentioning the heartbreaking reason his son’s photo weren’t even reaching the companies that were looking for fresh faces to represent them in advertising campaigns.
The offer from OshKosh matters to Asher’s mother especially because the talent agency she had hoped would help her son get the job hadn’t even sent out the boy’s photo to the companies because he was suffering from the common genetic disorder called Down syndrome, reported WBUR. The genetic condition affects physical characteristics and even causes difficulty in learning.
Fifteen-month-old Asher had the distinctive facial features of a kid who suffers from Down syndrome. However, according to his mother, baby Nash is quite playful and loves the camera. Hence she was a little miffed about the lack of responses from companies where she had hoped the talent agency was submitting photos. Although many publications erroneously reported baby Nash was turned down at a casting call, his mother clarified that she had submitted photos to a modeling agency for an OshKosh casting.
It turns out, the agency never forwarded the toddler’s photos or information to the companies that were looking for new and young faces to represent their brands. When the boy’s mother approached the agency to query about the lack of response, she was told the agency hadn’t put forth the boy’s photos because they didn’t fit the casting criteria. Confused, Nash asked if the casting specifically says “no children with special needs?” Needless to say, there were no specific selection or rejection criteria. It was the agency that independently assumed their client wouldn’t want a child with special needs, reported KTLA.
Dejected, Nash posted Asher’s pictures on the Changing the Face of Beauty Facebook page. Her message was clear: Nash wanted brands to start using and including people with disabilities, reported Fox News.
“It’s important to feature people with special needs in advertisement for three reasons. The first reason is inclusion. People with disabilities want to be included amongst their peers in life in general and being seen in advertisement is a part of that.
“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 added that national brands might not be even aware that photos of special needs kids weren’t even being submitted from casting calls. A Facebook page, dedicated to children with Down syndrome, called “Kids With Down Syndrome” reposted the mother’s original message, and soon after, the photos of baby Asher quickly went viral.
Shortly after the news went viral, OshKosh’s representatives contacted the Nash family and confirmed that baby Asher will participate in an upcoming photo shoot for their holiday campaign, which will be run on their website, social channels, and email marketing blasts.
[Featured Image by Tanya Little/Getty Images]