February 17, 2010

What are they scared of?

Gavin's modeling agency recently emailed me asking me for updated pictures and measurements. I sent them and made a comment that he has only had 1 booking since he has been with them (about a year).

I got this response, "I understand, he is so cute, however once clients realize that he has one hand, they get a little scared."

I'm not sure how to handle this. There were a lot of things I wanted to say out of anger but I didn't. I asked "What are they scared of?"and she responded with, "my thoughts exactly, I try to get them to book my children with Downs Syndrome as well. Now that Gavin is the size that they need, hopefully they will book him."

How would you handle this?

I don't know if there is any point of him doing this anymore but I also feel that we should keep him enrolled so that hopefully someone will eventually book him and not be afraid to show off his difference. Lets be honest, you never see kids with limb differences in catalogues, magazines, commercials, etc. Once in a while you will see a child in a wheel chair or with another type of disability. But if we withdraw him I feel like we're just giving in and accepting that children with limb differences will never be able to model.

We already had a negative experience where his agent called and asked if Gavin could do a photoshoot with Zellers. I said "sure" and asked if they knew about his arm. I should have just kept my mouth shut. I don't know why I asked. But she said she would call me right back and then told me that it was a short-sleeved shirt he would be wearing so Zellers decided to pass on Gavin for now.

I was really upset about that. Not that he missed out on being in their flyer. But because its unfair that they rejected him based on his arm. He would have been the cutest kid in the flyer! ;)

Looking back I wish I had have followed up with Zellers and called them on their discrimination. But I just let it go. Now I feel that its our responsibility to advocate for Gavin and prove that there is nothing scary about showing someone who is different.


  1. i got the same request for gabby and haven't sent the updated info since she hasn't gotten any requests yet. while we love gabs & think she's adorable, i'm not sure she's "modeling material" at this age - i think the pics don't catch her wonderful personality. she would have done better as a younger baby or maybe when she's older and can smile normally! however, i totally think gavin could be an amazing model! i wonder if there's a better agency out there that would advocate for gav or gabs better. but without putting them with an agency that is specifically for kids with disabilities. maybe you and i could start our own... ;o)

  2. This makes me really sad. Gav is such an adorable, happy little man and SO full of personality. He is an absolute joy to photograph and SO much easier than most children at this age to work with. I think that these advertiser's are really missing out on a great opportunity to have his beautiful face represent their company AND to show that they are supportive of people of all walks of life, with or without differences!

    (But I guess until they pull their heads out of your know where and realize that I will just keep him as my own personal model :P)