JOIN
OUR EMAIL LIST!
Demi Garza-Pena - Ollie's World / Facebook

Demi Garza-Pena and her son, two-year-old Oliver Garza-Pena, thought they were on a typical shopping trip at Target.

But when they passed through the boys' clothing section and saw a special ad, designed specifically for children like Oliver, they knew it was a special kind of day.


Garza-Pena was passing through the boys' clothing when she realized Oliver had stopped behind her to look at something.

She turned around and saw him looking up at an advertisement of another little boy, not much older than him, also using a wheelchair. Oliver looked utterly awestruck and would not break his gaze from the advertisement.

Garza-Pena took a moment to take a picture while Oliver was still looking up at the advertisement. The moment was not staged or practiced; it was a natural and beautiful reaction to the power equal representation can have.

Garza-Pena reflected:

"I could see the look on his face, he knew that boy was like him."

After they had returned home, Garza-Pena shared the photograph, along with a special thank-you note to Target, to the Facebook page she runs for her son, called "Ollie's World."

The post quickly gained traction, many in love with Oliver's genuine expression, and others reacting to Garza-Pena's resounding hashtag choice, "Representation Matters."

Ollie's World / Facebook


Ollie's World / Facebook


Ollie's World / Facebook


Ollie's World / Facebook


Ollie's World / Facebook

The post was shared so far and wide, it actually reached the mother of the boy in the Target advertisement, Ashley Robinson. Her son in the ad is ten-year-old Colton Robinson in Massachusetts.

Ollie's World / Facebook

Robinson shared her reaction to seeing Oliver's photo for the first time:

"I was overcome by emotion and started crying. The expression on Oliver's face looking up to Colton was extremely touching."

The two moms have since connected on social media and have stayed in touch. Though their sons have different disabilities, Oliver with Caudal Regression Syndrome and Colton with Spina Bifida, the women have discovered their days look very similar, and they share many of the same challenges.

Both women agree equal representation needs to continue to be pursued across media advertisements, and that this moment between Oliver and Colton is the perfect example as to why.

Garza-Pena said:

"We want companies to jump on board for more inclusive advertising. These photos need to be everywhere all the time. People with disabilities need more representation in the community."

Robinson agreed, citing Oliver's reaction:

"Children of all abilities and sizes need to be represented. I mean, who doesn't want to look at an ad and see someone that you have something in common with? It's important for everyone to feel included. It's just a beautiful thing."

Though we're a long way away from seeing equal representation everywhere, in all media forms, it's important to see moments in the media like Colton's.

And perhaps it's even more important to see, for children like Oliver, how Colton's inclusion is really making a difference.

Image by kamalpreet singh from Pixabay

Well that was a close call. That is everyone's main life mantra. If you really think about it, you'll know it to be true. Everyday we live, is another day we've survived, and death isn't the only thing we frequently sidestep. I have lost track of the amount of times my heart has almost gotten me into trouble. If I had been able to be with the people I thought I wanted in the past, I'd be in a mental ward right about now. Dodging a bullet doesn't even begin to cover it.

Redditor u/Not-an-Ocelot wanted to hear about the times that have made people give some extra thanks by asking... What's the biggest bullet you've ever dodged?
Keep reading... Show less

When your time is up, your time is up. And when we march off into the afterlife it feels like everyone wants one of two or two things. People want to go out in a blaze of glory and/or in peace and without pain. I don't know if both is possible but I'll choose option two please. What I know for sure is I definitely don't want to be smoted by a stupid death. Like, Lord, please don't let me die choking on fried chicken and an XL frozen Appletini at the Dallas BBQ because I was laughing to hard at my own jokes. Please.

Redditor u/BlueD_ wanted everyone to fess up about the times they almost met their maker in a less than dignified manner by asking... What's the dumbest way you almost died?
Keep reading... Show less

We may not know it, but sometimes things that seem routine or are just one of our personal habits can really hold back our lives.

One little change to cut those things, or to include new things, can really change the quality of our lives for the better. We have to be willing to drop old routines, which is hard and scary; and we need to be willing to accept new ideas into our space, which is also hard and scary.

Keep reading... Show less
Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

The photographers, DJs, officiates, and planners of the wedding industry hold a unique perspective.

They get to witness the lead-up to the couple's important, deeply symbolic day. Sitting at the table in that context offers those industry professionals a glimpse of the mundane dynamics of couples before the big event.

Keep reading... Show less