Real Life

Down syndrome baby wins modelling contract after viral campaign

“Our son Asher has Down syndrome. Although it is a part of him, it does not define him. He is so much more…”

Asher Nash’s smiling face is becoming almost recognisable now thanks to his mum’s mission to make advertising more inclusive.
Only a week or two ago, cute little Asher’s goofy grin started popping into everyone’s news feeds as his mum Meagan campaigned to get talent agencies to submit his photo to casting calls and for companies to use models with special needs as well. Here’s the post:
When Meagan found out that agencies only seemed to submit photos of kids with special needs to casting calls which specified they were looking for that kind of talent, she decided she needed to do something about it. She has a Facebook page called Asher's Down Right Perfect.
“It kind of seemed like discrimination” she told ABC News in the US.
“"I was hurt," she said. "I was really hurt... I'm seeing this baby [Asher] that I think would be a huge contribution to the modelling world. He didn't even get the chance to be rejected by (the children’s clothing company) because he never even got submitted. I felt angry."
So through a US organisation that identifies companies that don’t use people with disabilities in advertising campaigns, she did a call out to OshKosh, asking them to feature little Asher.
Cue the viral reaction. A Facebook page called Kids with Down syndrome picked it up (see above), Meagan’s campaign went global – and OshKosh got in touch. Here's footage shot by ABC News in the US about when Asher met OshKosh.
In a statement to ABC News, OshKosh B'gosh thanked Nash for raising the company's awareness on the issue.
"OshKosh B'gosh enjoyed spending time with Asher and his family earlier this week and hearing their perspective. We appreciate Ms Nash's passion for greater inclusiveness of children with special needs in advertising. ... We are committed to evolving our process to ensure that in the future children with special needs are better represented in our advertising campaigns," a representative said.
It’s now been confirmed that Asher will be modelling in OshKosh’s Christmas campaign.
"My real goal for him [Asher] in life is just for him to be included," Nash said. "I want him to be included with his peers when he goes to school. I want him to be included when he is an adult and he is going to work.
“I just want him to be able to live in a world where he has full inclusion and he is accepted for who he is, not for his diagnosis."

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