Back-to-school advertising for Target & Kmart is reflecting the real, diverse Australia – a nation of mixed abilities, races & cultures. Recent catalogues from Target and Kmart have been praised for showing a diverse range of models including children with disabilities and from various cultural backgrounds.
The public has taken to social media to mainly praise Target for its catalogue, commenting that a Muslim model in their ads has broken barriers. They also commented that this has taken real people as models to a new level. Advocacy groups for the disabled have also praised the move with the Youth Disability Advocacy Services tweeting they love the catalogues for promoting inclusion and diversity.
The catalogue featured a mother wearing hijab, special needs children with hearing aids, feet braces and walking aids, and children from diverse backgrounds.
There is much benefit that comes from displaying these images. People see clothes modelled on people more like them and it promotes inclusivity. Proudly displaying diversity garners respect for and appreciation of differences in abilities, races and cultures. The power of diversity is unleashed when we respect and value differences. We encourage and hope to see more retailers head down this path in the future.
Here are some comments of the positive reaction on facebook:
“Being a mother of a special need child and being a hijabi (wearing the head scarf) this is so relatable. Keep it up.”
“Congratulations on recognising the diverse nature of Australia’s population. I’m not disabled and I’m Caucasian. However, I prefer to see all Australians represented in marketing and advertising materials. And I bet it will win you some loyal customers,” Christina Derbyshire added.
“Was absolutely overwhelmed with emotion seeing the diversity in your latest catalogue. You have no idea what this means to a lot of Muslims and people with disabilities who are made to feel excluded from society every day. Ignore the haters, what you did was an amazing move and I hope it’s not the last we’ll see of it,” Ashwini Rajesh said.