Target Features Model with Disabilities to Pitch Iconic Disney Costume
Elsa's exquisite, ice blue gown has been the go-to Halloween costume for little girls since Disney's mega-hit Frozen graced the silver screen. Retailers nationwide watch happily as they fly off the shelves. This year, Target's choice to feature a little girl with leg braces and forearm crutches as the ice queen in their Halloween-time advertisements has met with resounding approval on all fronts.
Models with Disabilities Promote Universal Acceptance
"Conceal, don't feel," is NOT what the expression on the face of the young Elsa says from the pages of Target's weekly circular. Her mega-watt smile seems to say, "I can be Elsa like any other kid, or do anything else I want for that matter."
Mom of a daughter with special needs Jen Spickenagel Kroll was so impressed with Target's creative choice that she wrote a quick thank you note to them on Facebook. This letter promptly went viral and set a blistering pace around the world with nearly 6,000 shares.
"Dear Target," she wrote, "I love you. Thank you for including a child with braces and arm crutches into your advertising campaign! And as Elsa, no less! My daughter (with arm crutches and prosthetic legs) is going to FLIP when she sees this! Including children with special needs into advertising makes them less of a spectacle to the general public when they venture out into the real world. Normalizing disabilities in children is PRICELESS."
Parents and disability organizations alike have liked, shared and tweeted their support for Kroll, Target and the overall message of inclusiveness and acceptance. "The fact that it's getting such a big response from so many worldwide is just incredible," wrote one commenter. "Awesome how one picture, one voice can have such an impact."
Target's Humble Response Speaks Volumes
Target is no stranger to shaking things up. They have been featuring models with disabilities for years as well as plus-sized representatives for their clothing lines. In a recent bold move, they are even planning to phase out gender based signage to help strike a better balance for their customers.
In a statement responding to the public's pat on the back, Target said something that truly underscores just how far we have left to go in achieving real acceptance. They said, "We look forward to a day when diversity of all types in advertising is no longer a topic of discussion, but a way of life."
So do we, Target. So do we.
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