Little Boy With Down Syndrome Models For Target And Nordstrom, Warms Hearts

Of all the groups of people ignored by the people who make clothing advertisements, the disabled might be most underrepresented; it’s sadly rare to even hear them get mentioned in conversations around this issue. That might be starting to change, though, at least in the world of children’s fashion, as a little boy with Down Syndrome has been showing off his cuteness in ads for major outlets like Target (above) and Nordstrom (below).

The boy’s name is Ryan, and his parents are very proud of him. “We are very pleased that Nordstrom placed Ryan in their catalog,” wrote Ryan’s mom in a comment on a blog called Noah’s Dad (written by a parent of another child with Down Syndrome). “The whole process of modeling is an extreme confidence booster for him. He received so much warmth and caring from the Nordstrom crew that he thought they were there just for him!” Confidence booster, eh? Sounds like Ryan’s making out better than most fashion models.

The comment continues:

We are honored that Ryan is making the Down Syndrome community proud. He is a beautiful boy inside and out. He makes us better parents, and a better family. Our children with Down Syndrome are amazing! So many have had huge health obstacles to overcome from the very beginning of their lives. We, their families, know how far they have come, and how much more is ahead of them. Every day is a journey, and a celebration.

It’s also notable that none of the ads in which Ryan has appeared present him as being different from the other kids or otherwise call attention to his Down Syndrome. He’s just a regular lil’ cutie like any other, wearing clothes, having fun. I’m not sure we’re going to see disabled people in aspirational high fashion ads any time soon, but seeing them represented in family-targeted catalogs is certainly refreshing.

More like this, please.

(Via AdWeek)

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    • Sam

      This makes me so, so happy. :) As a 22-year-old who (albeit awkwardly) walks with a cane, I feel like there are so few ads or photography in general that shows people, especially children, with disabilities, and that’s so sad since there are millions who possess disabilities. Most of those disabilities are faceless because so many people just say “awww, poor kid” or, to their own children, “aren’t you lucky you don’t have _____?” or something without realizing how patronizing and cruel those comments are. So this…this is fantastic. :)

    • Sam

      This makes me so, so happy. :) As a 22-year-old who (albeit awkwardly) walks with a cane, I feel like there are so few ads or photography in general that shows people, especially children, with disabilities, and that’s so sad since there are millions who possess disabilities. Most of those disabilities are faceless because so many people just say “awww, poor kid” or, to their own children, “aren’t you lucky you don’t have _____?” or something without realizing how patronizing and cruel those comments are. So this…this is fantastic. :)

    • Ms. Badger

      This is such a great thing to see, hurray for warm fuzzy stories!

      I hope this can help inspire all kids

    • Alexys B

      Well done to the parents for teaching their gorgeous little boy just how beautiful he is! And my hats off to the agency who had faith in him to take him on their books!

    • Lisa Daly

      I may be in the minority, but I have a huge soft spot for kids with Down. I’m not sure why. I don’t have any close family or friends with kids with Down, but when I see one, my AH ADORABLE KID!! reaction is much stronger. Maybe they just seem more cheerful and innocent. And if one is being a punk, it’s a little easier to dismiss than with the average rugrat.

    • Barbara St.Pierre

      I have a special place in my heart for downs children.They are the most lovable human beings. He is so cute and really makes a great model. Thanks Target for giving these youngsters to feel like anyone else.<3

    • Patricia

      This is awesome!