Changing the face of beauty

Last week SRDS had a chance to chat with Katie Driscoll, the founder and president of Changing the Face of Beauty. If you're unfamiliar with this organization, it's probably worth your time as a media professional to read up.

Driscoll started the foundation to help people with disabilities gain a stronger presence in advertising. It all started when her daughter, who has Down syndrome, began modelling for a few local businesses and Etsy projects. The photos were well received, and they also succeeded in helping an under-represented group become more commonplace in ads. It was a mutually-beneficial partnership and it sparked the larger idea of creating Changing the Face of Beauty, which has just recently grown into a full-fledged non-profit this year. 

katie driscoll

Driscoll founded Changing the Face of Beauty with her husband in 2012


Things really got rolling when the organization actively called out businesses on social media with the hashtag #15in2015. The goal was to get 15 companies to feature people with disabilities in their ads in 2015, but the responses led to over 100 companies coming forward to participate. Prior to this venture Driscoll had little experience in the media world. This was new territory for her, but she rose to the challenge with the help of her team and they have accomplished quite a bit in only 3 years. This includes features on the Today Show and Huffington Post as well as putting the first woman with Down syndrome on the runway at New York fashion week 2015.


 As a self-taught photographer, Driscoll worked with her daughter as her first model for Changing the Face of Beauty


Driscoll says, "the message of Changing the Face of Beauty is not about what makes us different, it's about what makes us similar." She knows that there's something about this cause that a lot of people can connect with, adding “we’ve seen statistics showing that almost half of the population is connected to someone with a disability, and we believe that’s why this advertising has had such a strong impact on so many people.”

If you'd like to get involved as a marketer, you can visit their website to become a partner or donate. Changing the Face of Beauty also has big plans for the near future, which includes offering different tiers of partnership and a database of stock photos for marketing materials. The team is proud of everything Changing the Face of Beauty has accomplished and we're looking forward to what the future holds for this important organization. 

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