This ad appeared in New York City’s Times Square, one of the most sought after advertising sites in the world, but remains one of the few examples of disability representation in beauty. Last year, Gucci and Benefit both chose models with down syndrome for beauty campaigns, and Ulta Beauty prominently placed ad posters of a woman in a wheelchair. But that seems about it and I’m not only underwhelmed, I’m flummoxed.
Fashion brands like Nike, Tommy Hilfiger, Target, and Zappos, as well as celebrities like Beyoncé with Ivy Park and Rihanna with Savage x Fenty, were ahead of the beauty industry in creating inclusive products for and marketing to the disability community. The fashion industry has not only acknowledged disabled bodies but also started to innovate and design for them. In contrast, very few major players in the beauty industry are making packaging accessible