Maria Jordan MacKeigan took her daughter, Jordan Grace, to have headshots done. Jordan Grace has Down syndrome and is aspiring to be a model.
The Arizona mom described Jordan Grace to Inside Edition:
“She loves the camera. She’s very social. She loves to be around people. She loves to talk to people, she loves to play with kids.”
But while at the headshot clinic, MacKeigan noticed all of the posters had people who didn’t look like her daughter.
She didn’t like this, nor did she like the fact that when she watched commercials, none of the actors and models looked like her four-year-old daughter.
So, she decided to organize her own headshot clinic for children with disabilities.
MacKeigan paired up with a nonprofit organization, Changing the Face of Beauty, to host her own headshot clinic so that children with disabilities could send their headshots to agencies.
“The main idea is for people to be okay and see people like her in commercials and TV, and normalize that people who have disabilities can be approached. They are also consumers – they buy the products, they wear the products, they eat the products. They need to be included as well.”
MacKeigan said she felt scared when she found out her child would have Down syndrome; she didn’t know anyone else who had a child with Down syndrome.
The mom of two said she even thought about terminating her pregnancy after a doctor told her that her child would be a “burden to society,” unable to feed or dress herself.
Despite all the negative opinions she received from people, life with Jordan Grace is brighter and happier than she could’ve imagined. She said:
“Every minute of every day, she lives and loves with such passion, and she enjoys the little simple things in life, you know. She stops and smells the flowers when we’re running late.”
And through her clinic and other endeavors, the Arizona mom said she wants bring awareness to Down syndrome:
“I want people to accept her and I want to normalize Down syndrome…We can’t set limits on people with disabilities.”
So far, MacKeigan, along with the help of Changing the Face of Beauty, has had over 100 companies agree to also feature people with disabilities in their campaigns.