By Tyler Estep, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
GWINNETT, Ga. — Asher Nash is 15 months old and lives in Buford with his parents and older sister. He has bright blue eyes and light brown hair and loves to wear bowties.
Asher Nash also has Down syndrome — and a mother who wants to share his beauty with the world.
“I want the world to see just how amazing he is,” Meagan Richter Nash said, “and just how amazing other people with Down syndrome are.”
In July, Nash submitted her son’s photos to a talent agency handling a casting call for OshKosh B’Gosh, the popular children’s clothing brand owned by Atlanta-based Carter’s. She never heard anything back and, a few months later, contacted the talent agency.
The agency told Nash that Asher’s photos hadn’t even been submitted because OshKosh “didn’t specify that they wanted a baby with special needs.”
That didn’t sit right.
“My first thought,” Nash said, “was, ‘Well, did they say they did not want a baby with special needs?'”
Nash eventually started working with a campaign called Changing the Face of Beauty and, about two weeks ago, took to Facebook to lobby OshKosh to use her son in an ad.
The Internet took over.
A post highlighting Asher on the popular “Kids with Down Syndrome” Facebook page has garnered more than 89,000 likes and 100,000 shares in a week and a half. His story has been picked up (with varying accuracy) by viral news sites like The Mighty and PopSugar.
It’s all gotten OshKosh’s attention.
Nash said a marketing representative for the company has reached out to her, and she and Asher have a meeting with the company next week.
An OshKosh B’Gosh corporate spokesperson confirmed as much in a statement sent to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Thursday morning.
“OshKosh B’Gosh appreciates the importance of representing the diversity of our customers in our advertising,” the statement said.
“Since we became aware of Ms. Nash’s request, our team has reached out to her directly to better understand her perspective and provide additional information about our casting process. We agree there is an opportunity for greater representation of children with special needs in advertising. We look forward to meeting with Asher and his family, as well as taking steps to enhance the representation of diverse children in our marketing.”
Nothing has been promised, but the prospect of a modeling career for Asher — “the most loving, outgoing, hysterical baby you’ve ever met” — and other kids like him appears to be gaining steam.
Nash wants people to know she was never “out to get” OshKosh, whose clothes Asher loves to wear. But she’s excited about what the future might hold.
“My intentions were not for me to tell anyone my son needs to be in there over anyone else,” she said. “I’m really just trying to take a stand for him and other children and babies and adults like him.”