This is the message I wrote on Marks and Spencer’s Facebook page after Seb White, a handsome little 4 year old, was included in the company’s Christmas advertising. Oh, and this little boy just happens to have Down’s Syndrome. He isn’t singled out, or given any special treatment. He is just ‘one of the gang’ – true inclusion at it’s greatest!
I just wanted to say a big thank you from my family, especially my handsome 11 week old son, Asa. For anything in particular? The lovely clothes people have bought for Asa? Yes. The beautiful gifts people have bought us from your company? Yes. For gift vouchers so my husband & I can go and choose gorgeous outfits for our two precious kids? Yes!
But more recently – Friday in fact – we learned that history was made. We learned that M&S are to feature Seb White as a child model in the Christmas magazine. Today we read a great article about him in The Times and The Daily Mail. You see, our adorable Asa also has Down’s Syndrome, like Seb. It’s taken us a while to come to terms with this and if we are honest we have had many tears (well, more so me!). So to see a huge company like M&S proudly feature Seb, a beautiful boy with a cheeky smile and adorable sparkly eyes and who also has DS…well it melts my heart. It makes me feel that we are not on our own, that the tide is turning, that our children will be seen as individuals first and not just their condition, which is just a small part of who they are.
I am so proud of M&S – this makes me proud to be British – and I hope that other companies will follow your high example and include people with disabilities in adverts, particularly in fashion and lifestyle! So well done M&S and thank you from the 4 Shaws from Dinas Powys! …especially from Asa who will grow up to be whatever he wants to be!