First, let me start by apologizing for my negative thoughts about you. Specifically, for saying things like, “You’ve had so much smoke blown up your ass by your parents you have no concept of humility.” The truth be told I was fearful I would have to someday work for you. I realize now having to work for anyone makes me nervous because only I have my family’s best interest at heart. Sure I wished unschooling/freelance writing/grant writing/authoring/retail worker paid more— but the upside is I’m free. Generation Xers need freedom (or maybe it’s just me).
Second, I read with great interest the story in The New York Times: In Toy Ads and on the Catwalk, Models With Down Syndrome. I was shocked—and I’m not easily shocked as a Gen X’er—by the fact:
“…advertisers say that using models with Down syndrome or a physical disability allows them to communicate their values and connect with customers, particularly millennials, who respond to inclusiveness and are looking for “authenticity” in advertising.
Millennials “expect to see a broad cross-section of families, couples and individuals, including people who are developmentally disabled as a matter of truthfulness,” said Bob Witeck, a former executive with the public relations firm Hill & Knowlton and a communications strategist in Washington, D.C., who tracks ad spending.”
Hello Millennials! I love truthfulness, inclusivity and authenticity! L-O-V-E -T-H-E-M! I had two thoughts upon reading this article: We are not so different after all! And, you control a shit ton of money— in an awesome way. If I have to really work for someone again, I think I could work for you. (But, honestly yuck to working for anyone.)
Third, if you truly feel this way there might be more people with Down syndrome coming into the world. That thought gives me great hope for my son and the world. Your parents must have told you freedom is important. If I had a child when it was prescribed you would be my children. Instead I became a parent to a boy who had Down syndrome at 49 years of age.
Lovely Millennials, we get each other. I’m grateful to you. I’m proud of you. Let’s embrace this beautiful world of everyone.
I don’t know if I’m a millennial. but yes to all of this good news! Thanks for an unexpected perspective, Kari.
I’m 31, the edge of the millenial generation. My mom is a special ed teacher, specifically VI, and I was raised to appreciate and value people of all abilities. I’m also gay, so I like when I see lgbt people and families represented. Though I was raised in a mostly white pseudo christian medwestern town, I value religious and ethnic diversity. I don’t specifically like these things as marketing ploys as I think the consumerism machine has gone too far, but I absolutely notice and appreciate real people I come in contact with. I read some interesting things for my sociology class about millenials so keep this open mind and look at from a new perspective! Every generation can be stereotyped into taglines and we don’t deserve them just as your son doesn’t. We are products of the generations before us but all unique individuals. I like having your blog in me feed because it’s different than the others :-)
Thank you for sharing all of that! I do agree with on consumerism machine but in this case it gave me hope. Sure I wished advertiser saw my son and other people with Ds worthy of marketing to but at this point I’ll take what I can get. My opening point was playing off stereotypes attributed to millenials that are as you said not fair. In my heart we are all on the same path.
I remember a post about why people with Ds don’t have to be happy all the time. That was you, right?
Had to look up Millennial and Gen x and found I’m a Baby Boomer. I suppose it’s a way to look at things, grouping folk together. I do see the entitled behaviour on a daily basis but, like you, am beginning to appreciate the broader perspective younger people have. The immense media input they receive compared to my limited experience at that age is significant. Kids with DS in advertising can only be good as it sways the perspective in a positive way. The toys from Toys like Us are helping too I think and the huge improvement in prosthetics along with increased profile of the Paralympics. It’s all good – thank you Millennials!