What kind of people do you consider as beautiful and that you definitely would recommend modeling branded clothing? Those who have tantalizing blue eyes or those who showcase beautifully sculpted body? How about women with sexy curves and flawless white skin, or men with 6-pack abs and prominent biceps and triceps? If that’s the case, then what would you think if you see people with disabilities pose for a catalog and model dresses, shoes and bags?
It is not surprising that people will be astonished or will look perplexed when they see apparels modeled by persons with a missing leg or a short arm. They would not hesitate to think or ask what happened to that brand or that store.
Well, to Nordstrom that does not matter. This American fashion retailer company has been featuring models with disabilities in their ad campaigns since 1997. Because of that, the company was made as an industry leader for taking the first step of broadening the definition and perception of beauty.
Just recently, the company again featured disabled people to model their clothing, shoes and bags. In their biggest Anniversary sale, the retailer company did not only slash big prices from their items and products but again showcase the beauty of those who are physically challenged.
In their July catalog, readers will not only see previews of the popular anniversary sale, but they will also notice a few models that are physically impaired. Those brave models who posed for the catalog were:
- Jillian Mercado – a woman who have muscular dystrophy (a muscle disease that is characterized by progressive skeletal muscle weakness and defects on the muscle protein, resulting to loss of ability to walk). She posed in the catalog on her wheelchair modeling a leather boot.
- Alex Minsky – a former marine who lost his right leg in Afghanistan when his truck ran over an explosive. Using his prosthetics, he modeled several pairs of branded shoes. He confidently made a number of poses for the July catalog.
- Shaholly Ayers – an actress who underwent an amputation below the elbow. She beautifully projects while holding one of Nordstrom’s featured handbags.
According to a representative from Global Disability Inclusion consulting firm, Meg O’Connell, companies will gain an advantage once they begin to comprehend that people who are physically challenged or impaired are a big and significant part of the consumers’ population. She even added that she constantly repeat this claim when she is speaking publicly to make those companies, who offer a limited selection of plus-sized apparels, realize that the country is made up of different kinds of people – different sizes, shapes, and color. She stated that exclusivity is definitely out.
Nordstrom took the first step of expanding the traditional standard of beauty. With the company’s courageous act of letting physically disabled people model and pose for their catalog is something that is to be looked up to in the fashion industry.
Audience and other viewers may find it perplexing at first, but this will be a stepping stone for them to embrace differences in every person. Let’s give a big round of applause to Nordstrom for taking that first step.