TODAY   |  April 29, 2014

New faces enter the world of modeling

Katie Driscoll and her 4-year-old daughter Grace, a child model with Down syndrome, join TODAY to talk about the unconventional new faces of modeling. TODAY’s Jenna Bush Hager reports. 

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> and now to our special series, "love your selfie," reclaiming beauty, and the changing image of what's considered beautiful.

>> "today" contributing correspondent jenna bush hager is here with more. good morning, good to see you.

>> good morning, guys. if this age of social media , friends share pictures and selfies all time. but those relatable faces aren't the ones we usually see in ads. now a few companies and individuals are trying to change that.

>> on three. one, two, three.

>> women with their ph.d.s. children living with disabilities. and a 62-year-old modelling in her underwear. these are just a few of the new faces working to redefine beauty.

>> it never occurred to me to limit myself. because of age.

>> jackie o 'shaughnessy models for american apparel .

>> you posed in lingerie, and when you first saw those photos, did you like them?

>> i did. i did. there's no doubt about it.

>> the response on the company's facebook page was overwhelmingly positive. people ask for more models who lack like jackie. but chris lynnland, founder of internet clothing company beta brand thinks what they're really asking for is models who look like themselves.

>> we don't really go for professional models of any kind. the image has always got to be that of accessible, fun people .

>> beta brand depend on their customers to select and crowd fund design ideas and recently found a way to connect with some of their brightest clients.

>> there are more ph.d.s than models.

>> that's right, ph.d.s modelling their latest spring line.

>> i think it's an example of one of many ways that women can become empowered beyond their bodies. i hope that young women can look at that and see, i can do that, too, i with be that, too.

>> it's that same message that katie driscoll is hoping to send to children of all ability levels.

>> none of these advertisers know that they are excludeing this group of people. it's absolutely not on their radar.

>> but it's her mission to get them to notice. driscoll's daughter grace, if youngest of her six children, was born with down syndrome four years ago.

>> i wanted them to know that i was so proud of her. from there i picked up the camera, and just one thing led to another.

>> love it.

>> and what it led to is this.

>> my line is all about capturing the innocence of a child.

>> clothing brand matilda jane is just one of the many companies that drinks toll photographs for, all in an effort to inspire inclusion.

>> my goal is for my daughter to grow up in a world where people see her. i feel passionately that if people could actually see individuals with disabilities on a regular basis, that in turn would show them that they are capable.

>> you guys are the cutest.

>> building confidence and changing minds one snap at a time. and so we asked our new models to share their definitions of beauty, which you can find the video on pretty inspirational, guys.

>> really cool. we've got a supermodel here.

>> look at her.

>> she's got the microphone.

>> good morning. you have to be just elated to see these images take off and so many others embrace them.

>> absolutely. it's been such an amazing experience. these last six months since tori spelling 's line picked up my images, it's just been wonderful. so well received.

>> what kind of message do you think you're sending to companies, but to consumers as well, about what we ought to see in our advertising?

>> well, as i was preparing for this trip, my oldest son said mom, make sure you tell them that these individuals with disabilities deserve a chance. and individuals with disabilities make up almost one of the largest minorities in the world. they're the least represented. and so my hope is that i can show ability and not disability. and, you know, more advertisers --

>> katie , you have to blame me. it was my idea to give her the microphone.

>> it was our idea.

>> what have you learned from this darling little girl ?

>> she is amazing. i just said to my friend yesterday, i said five years ago -- i was crying. i was sad, you know, that this baby was going to be born with down syndrome. who would know that five years later, we'd be sitting here. and she would be part of changing the perception.

>> and a singing star.

>> singing on the "today" show.

>> get her on "the voice." she's good.

>> adam lavine, there you go.

>> what are you singing? what are you singing?

>> i love your dress.

>> say thank you.

>> she has the most beautiful eyes , doesn't she? the blue eyes .

>> look at that energy. mom of five boys and a beautiful little princess . i think she rules the family, right?

>> she does.

>> thank you so much.

>> i don't know how you do it, but you're amazing and a great message, katie .