THE POWER OF REPRESENTATION
Welcome back to the digital realm where we dive deep into the ever-evolving landscape of representation in media. Today, we're putting the spotlight on a topic that hits close to home for many of us - representation. People connect with brands, products, and events when they can see themselves in those brands, products and events. Whether it's in gaming, fashion, or film, these stories are breaking down barriers and inspiring a new era of inclusivity.
DOVE - REPRESENTING BLACK GAMERS
Let's kick things off with a high score in the gaming world. Dove's recent partnership with Open Source Afro Hair Library launched “Code My Crown” to level up the representation game, especially for Black gamers. The initiative provides instructions, 360-degree photo mapping, and open source code in order for game developers to offer more diverse and accurate depictions of the Black hairstyles. Everyone wants the ability to create characters that resemble themselves. This goes beyond mere visibility; it's about empowerment, encouragement, and fostering a sense of belonging. Representation is not just a checkbox; it's about creating spaces where everyone feels seen and heard.
MODELING - REAL PEOPLE, REAL LIFE
Now, let's talk about breaking stereotypes and modeling real life. Noah Jacob, a child model with a radiant smile, is challenging preconceived notions of beauty. Noah was diagnosed with Down syndrome before birth and is a successful model appearing in Target and Stride Rite ads. Noah's journey highlights the importance of seeing ourselves reflected in the media we consume. When children can see someone like them in the spotlight, it sends a powerful message - they too are limitless. Similarly 20-year old, Alexia Rivera, who has never thought of Down syndrome as a disability and calls it ‘Up’ syndrome is featured globally in ads for Sephora and Kohl’s and billboards in New York City. Alexia was first inspired to model by Ellie Goldstein’s modeling career and recent feature as the first model with Down syndrome on the cover of Vogue. Representation matters because it has the power to shape perspectives and redefine societal norms.
“TAKE ME HOME” - SHORT FILM ON FAMILY AND DISABILITY
Filmmaker Liz Sargent is raising awareness with her short film, "Take Me Home," which delves into the complexities of family and disability. Liz’s younger sister, Anna, is the main character in the film that tells her story of adoption and living with a disability. This isn't just a film; it's a conversation starter, a catalyst for change that raises awareness around caregiving and mental illness. Sargent's work showcases the importance of nuanced, authentic narratives that explore the diverse experiences within the disability community. It's about moving beyond stereotypes and shedding light on the real, raw, and beautifully diverse stories that make up our world.