Decatur mom adding momentum to "change the face of beauty"


DECATUR--A national campaign is gaining a local following. "Changing the Face of Beauty" is an online initiative aimed at featuring disabled children in major advertisement campaigns, and one Decatur mom is helping fuel the movement. 

Cristy Proctor didn't know much about disabilities until her daughter Isabella Grace was born. 

"I never knew anything about Down Syndrome," said Proctor. "And now that I do, my goal in life is to show that she can be all that she wants to be. No matter if she wants to be a model or a doctor, I will encourage her to do that."

One day, while flipping through Facebook, Proctor found some extra encouragement. 

"I was just scrolling through my newsfeed and I saw this little picture of a little girl with Down Syndrome in a Target ad," said Proctor. "And her name is Izzy, so it caught my eye because that's what I call my daughter is Izzy."

The ad caught the attention of those behind Changing the Face of Beauty, an online initiative formed back in 2012 to include disabled individuals in major media campaigns. Now in 2015, the goal is a little more specific: to have 15 major retailers commit to using children with disabilities in their print ads. 


"They're just asking you to submit a photo of your child online, on Facebook, Twitter," said Proctor. "And just use the words changing the face of beauty. Call out the stores you're trying to get help from. Include the hashtag '15 in 2015' and hashtag 'I'm ready'."

Already, 20 companies have pledged to use models with disabilities in the coming year, thanks to the social media campaign. But supporters want that number to keep growing, so children like Isabella grow up with an understanding that they are not different, but unique like everyone else.  


"I want my child to grow up knowing that she is perfect in every single way and she can be one of those kids in those ads as well," said Proctor.

Proctor also compiled photos of hundreds of children with disabilities to encourage that campaign. That video can be viewed here:

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