As I turned to page 72 of Nordstrom’s Anniversary Catalog I was happy to see smiling back at me an adorable boy sporting a stylish leather jacket. He was very fashionable, very cool, very hip…and he has Down syndrome.
With so many organizations (like GQ Magazine) printing and promoting ill-informed views, and false facts about Down syndrome, I’m grateful for companies like Nordstrom that understand and embrace the truth that people with Down syndrome are not “ruined,” by any means!
Rather they are 100% complete. Lacking nothing. (In fact, they even have a little something extra.) Oh, and as you can see…are very fashionable.
I must confess that it wasn’t until after Noah was born that my eyes were open to the lack of inclusion of those with “special needs” in our modern society. I often joke with my wife when we’re in Babies R Us that I’m going to ask someone, “Hey, I noticed that none of your advertisements have any pictures of babies with Down syndrome in them. How come?” I’d wait about five seconds before I told them I was just joking around (sort of.) The awkwardness would be priceless!
But I’m nice.
Down Syndrome Is Ok
On a serious note I applaud organizations like Nordstrom, and shows like Glee that do a great job of helping to educate the public that Down syndrome is ok.
That people with Down syndrome deserve to be included in every single area of life. That they just as much of a human as you or I. That you don’t have to be talk down to them. That they like to play. They like to have fun. And yes, some of them even like to model.
They like to do all of the same things that any other person on this planet likes to do. They don’t need to be “babied” or treated like they have some sort of strange sickness.
People often tell me they praying for Noah, and most of the time I love that! We can use all the prayer we can get.
But sometimes when people say they are praying for our son they have this tone in their voice like they are praying for him to be “healed” of the swine flu, or the chicken pox. I jokingly (and I really do say this) say to them, “No! Please don’t pray for our son to be ‘healed’ of Down syndrome. We really like our son, and would prefer to keep him!”
By the way, thanks Nordstrom for showing the world that inclusion, not exclusion is important. I saw that Babies R Us also uses Down syndrome models…but only in their “special needs” toys catalog.
What the heck is a “special needs toy” any way? A toy is a toy. I promise you that an extra chromosome doesn’t keep a child with Down syndrome from wanting to play with Legos, Barbies, and G.I. Joes. Oh, and Nordstrom, if you ever put out a “special needs” clothing catalog I’m taking back everything I said in this blog post!
Genetic Lesson #021
If you were to “take away” Down syndrome you would take away our son. He would have a completely different genetic code, thus being a completely different person.
So pray for him to behave, pray for him to come to know God through Christ, pray for him to develop into everything God has created him to be, pray for him to be loving, and kind, and pray for the small hole in his heart to close up before we go back to the doctor.
But please don’t pray for him to be “healed” of Down syndrome.
I hope and pray that more organizations will use a slice of their time, energy, resources and platform to showing the world that people with Down syndrome are as fully human as any other person on this planet.
What other companies have you seen that do a great job at this?