L’Oreal breaks mold with amputee modelFeb 22 05:36
This may be a first. It was announced last week that renowned Paralympian, actress, and model, Aimee Mullins, a leg double amputee known for her 12 pairs of high-tech legs (some that even make her taller), was chosen by L‘Oreal to be their latest spokesperson (press release). I’m fairly certain she’s the first woman with a mobility disability to be featured in an ad campaign by a major cosmetics brand. This is a huge deal. It will help further the advancement of getting the general populace to understand that disability doesn‘t automatically equate to ugliness or negativity.
While the full breadth of ads L’Oreal made featuring Mullins have yet to be released, there’s a “making of” YouTube video showing the filming of her TV commercial (watch). The ad does not hide her disability, in fact it does the exact opposite. The ad showcases her prosthetics and still amazing physical prowess. Yes, a national makeup ad will be highlighting disability. Seems a bit ironic doesn’t it? A company that’s founded on hiding “imperfections,” is now highlighting them. I love it.
As their spokesperson, Aimee will be in both TV and print ads for the company and joins the ranks of an impressive list of actresses and models - Beyonce, Milla Jovovich and Diane Keaton - who‘ve also modeled for the brand. Loving that L‘Oreal is brave enough to showcase a woman with a disability in their ads, Aimee says the company‘s tagline, “Because you‘re worth it,” can really ring true for woman with disabilities, saying, “It’s the complexity of who we are that makes us beautiful.”
If you’re not familiar with Mullins, her TED video, The Opportunity of Diversity, is a must-watch for everyone in the disability community (and on the planet too if you ask me). Her ability to communicate forward-thinking concepts regarding the definition of disability, and expanding what we think humans are capable of, is truly a gift. No wonder she was one of Alexander McQueen’s favorite muses.
Here’s to hoping these ads change at least a few people’s misconceptions.
And for fun, follow Aimee on Twitter! AimeeMullins
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Tiffiny Carlson is freelance writer and writes the “SCI Life” column for New Mobility. She's also a C6 quad from a diving accident that occurred when she was 14 years old. A lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Tiffiny has been a writer in the disability community for over 10 years and writes for several publications and blogs, as well as her personal blog BeautyAbility. Her work has also appeared in mainstream publications such as Nerve.com and Playgirl.