I don't remember exactly when the first time I stumbled upon Katie Driscoll and Steve English's organization, Changing the Face of Beauty, but I do remember falling immediately in love with it.
Changing the Face of Beauty's mission is to integrate individuals with disabilities into adverting. Their mission struck a chord with me and the second I saw their mission statement, I emailed Katie asking if I could tell her story.
Katie just started a new campaign for the organization called, you guessed it, #changingthefaceofbeauty. They want companies to listen up and finally represent a population that isn't represented enough in media and advertising. And they're asking for your help:
Katie was kind enough to sit down and answer a few questions about her campaign:
What inspired you to start this organization? What are your long-term goals?
Changing the face of beauty is purely a campaign that encourages American retailers to include individuals with disabilities in their advertising. Individuals living with disabilities make up the largest minority in the world yet they are the least represented in the media. Our hope is by speaking up more companies will think twice when planning future advertising and including this huge population of people that are currently being ignored in the media.
How did you get all of the organizations/students involved in making your video?
I am able to get people excited to participate because it is right. I believe that people what to see more differences in the media and because of that most are thankful to help. I grateful for friends who step up and help me reach as many people as possible.
I love that you're reaching out to Ellen for this project (she's one of my favorite human beings in the world). Why did you choose her to reach out to for this campaign? How can she help you?
I chose Ellen because before her there were no gays or lesbians on TV that we knew about. She changed the way we view the community and because of her courage our world is more accepting of individuals regardless of who they choose to love or be their partner. I want that for my daughters future. I want more shows featuring actors with disabilities. I want disabilities shown in every day in print ads and on TV. It makes a differences and it helps eliminate the fears and stigmas that come along with having a disability. I firmly believe this is the missing link to future employment opportunities and acceptance in our country. We do not want pity we want everyone to be equally represented. I believe it is time and I know Ellen could be the game changer.
You can and need to be a part of this. All you have to do is create a video and hashtag it with #changingthefaceofbeauty and #theellenshow.