19-month-old with Down Syndrome featured in Calgary ad campaign

CALGARY – An ad campaign that gained fame in the United States has inspired a High River, Alberta mom to feature her 19-month-old daughter in photos for local Calgary designers.

“She has Down Syndrome, but she’s gorgeous,” said mom Krista Rowland. “It’s showing beauty comes in all different forms.”

Called “Changing the Face of Beauty,” it was started by Illinois’ Katie Driscoll and Steve English in 2012 to promote the use of special needs models in mainstream ads.

“It’s not the norm, right?” said Rowland. “The norm is the high cheekbones, perfect-shaped face, blonde hair, blue eyes—that’s what society views as perfection. But with this shift, society is realizing perfection comes in different abilities and shapes and sizes. It’s such a wonderful campaign and a beautiful project.”

19-month-old Adele will be featured in a local ad campaign that promotes models with special needs. Global News / Jill Croteau

Rowland’s daughter, Adele, will be featured in photos for Baby & Me maternity store.

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“It’s a campaign that’s including people that normally wouldn’t be included as much as they probably should, so I thought it was brilliant,” said Baby & Me’s Skye Lawrence.

Calgary’s Acorn & Leaf will also feature Adele in its product launch.

“When you take a look at Adele, her smile is infections,” said designer Linda McNaull. “I’m more honoured to have her in our photos at Acorn & Leaf because she’s perfect to me.”

Target was the first major American retailer to include a model with Down Syndrome in its flyers, spurring 40 North American companies to include such models in major ad campaigns. Rowland is hoping there will be enough momentum so that Adele and others won’t have to encounter negative judgments as they grow up.

“This will be put away in memory box,” said Rowland. “So when she’s older, she knows…people think you are perfect just the way you are.”

CLICK HERE for details on Adele’s campaign, and check out one of the American retailers who will feature Adele in their ads HERE.

With files from Erika Tucker

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