Kmart Features Two Models With Disabilities in Their Easter Catalogue
News| | By Margo Gothelf
The retail giant hired two boys with disabilities to model some items in their latest catalogue after Starting With Julius, an organization dedicated to including people with disabilities, contacted the department store. Kmart shared that this is not a new focus for them, but rather an extension of their vision. “This is not a new focus for Kmart Australia, but an extension of our broader and very important focus on improving diversity within our business and truly representing our team, customers and communities that we operate in and are part of,” a representative shared with BuzzFeed. One of the models featured in the catalogue is 11-year-old Cooper Smith who has Cerebral Palsy. Bron Leeks, Smith’s mother, told BuzzFeed that Cooper has always wanted to be a model. “For me, the shoot was very respectful and engaging. They spoke to Cooper just as they would any other 11-year-old. He felt extremely welcome and proud,” Leeks explained. “He still couldn’t really believe he was in the catalogue! He was so excited to see himself represent Kmart and represent kids who have a disability. He is very proud of who he is including the fact he has Cerebral Palsy.” Not only is the catalogue helping Smith realize his dream, but it is also sending out a positive message. “It was a positive thing for children with a disability to be represented in main stream media,” Leeks shared with Daily Mail Australia. Many customers took to Facebook to share their praise and thank Kmart for including the models in the catalogue. This isn’t the first time a major retail company has featured a model with a disability. Target has previously featured a young girl with arm crutches in their Halloween catalogue, while Target Australia hired a young model with Down syndrome to model clothing for their store.