Sunday, July 24, 2011

Style Down Syndrome: Bring it.

*photo montage below


Last week Dr. Brian Skotko, a Physician at Children’s Hospital Boston’s Down Syndrome Program wrote the following response to an article written by John B. Thompson at GQ Magazine...




On July 15, John B. Thompson of GQ magazine slammed Bostonians as the worst dressed in the nation. Evidently, our beloved Beantown is actually a “bad-taste storm sewer” where all the worst fashion ideas come to “stagnate and putrefy.” He further decries, “Boston suffers from a kind of Style Down Syndrome , where a little extra ends up ruining everything.”

Go ahead, GQ, and mock my blue whale-emblemed Nantucket-red pants. Laugh if you want at the loud argyles that I prefer to wear with my black suit. I don’t even care if you dismiss the sexy pink polka-dotted tie that I like to wear with my blue-checkered shirt in clinic. But, whatever you do, do not mess with my sister.

My sister, Kristin, has Down syndrome, and let me explain what “Style Down Syndrome” really is. “Style Down Syndrome” is smiling when everyone else prefers to frown. It’s spending three summers, in sheer determination, learning to ride a bike because you want the freedom to be like everyone else. It’s singing tunes from Grease at the top of your lungs with your friends. It’s celebrating a third-place victory at a swim meet with as much gusto as the gold medalist.

Style Down Syndrome is strong-willed, persevering, and forgiving—because it has to be.

People with Down syndrome are ridiculed on a daily basis. Although not as obvious as GQ’s sport, children with Down syndrome do not always get invited to birthday parties just because they have Down syndrome. Young adults, freshly minted from high school, sometimes have trouble finding post-secondary opportunities. And, adults with Down syndrome are often the first to be fired when the economy tanks.

All of this comes at a time when people with Down syndrome are achieving previously unimagined successes. They are graduating, working, living and loving within our communities. So, why do people underestimate their abilities? It must be because they do not know someone with Down syndrome. Because, if they did, they would come to appreciate the life lessons that accompany their extra chromosome.

If my friends who are black were mocked, they would not take it. If my friends who are gay were slurred, they would not take it. My 400,000 fellow Americans with Down syndrome have been cheapened, and I will not take it. I invite GQ magazine to introduce its readers to real people with Down syndrome through the My Great Story campaign of the National Down Syndrome Society.


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According to Thriving, Children's Hospital Boston's pediatric health blog, Dr. Skotko's article went viral, "gaining mass attention on Twitter, Facebook and blogs, as well as mainstream media".

For several days my little site meter reflected the same, as the hits on Lily's blog doubled
shortly after blogging about both the GQ article and Dr. Skotko's blog post. Apparently I wasn't the only one dismayed by the insensitive language used in GQ's article, or the only one ignited by Dr. Skotko's eloquent and impassioned response.

 The following quote is taken from Thriving:

“I have been impressed–although not surprised–by the speed in which the Down syndrome community has responded to this hurtful language from GQ magazine,” says Skotko.  "Whether by e-mail, Facebook, Twitter, or blog, Americans across the country are shouting loud and clear that people with Down syndrome deserve our respect and admiration.”

We're a tight-knit community. Whether it's rallying around orphans overseas who share our loved ones' extra chromosome or joining together to make a stand against those who would call our kids a burden to society- we've got our children's backs.


I asked Lily's readers and my friends in the Down Syndrome group on Babycenter.com to contribute photos for a response to GQ's article. I am so thankful that so many of my friends were willing to sacrifice their style reputation on the web to make a statement about their kids :)

I love compiling these types of montages or posts, and even though this one was meant to be on the lighter side, I still get choked up watching it. Well, who wouldn't?! Our kids are amazing, and that extra chromosome evidently brings extra emotion and devotion.

Style Down syndrome. Bring it.



*if you cannot view the player refresh the page. Also, pause Lily's playlist at the bottom of the page to hear the slideshow's music.

31 comments:

Jenn said...

Patti, that was wonderful! LOVED it!!!

Sandryte said...

Thank you, Patti, what a nice collection of beautiful faces! Hugs and kisses to other parents and their children. We all went through the same unknown, and just look at where we are now - pure happiness!

Heidi Ehle said...

LOVE IT!!!! I would have sent a picture too..but I didn't bring crazy clothes lol I absolutely adore seeing all of those beautiful faces. It makes my entire day. :)

Team Lando said...

thank you, patti!

Janie Fox said...

perfection! I cried all through it but it was happy tears. DS is a blessing and I am so happy to celebrate it with you!! Thanks Patti!

my family said...

patti great job, it is perfect!I hope you don't mind me sharing on my blog.

thank you friend for putting this together

april

Anna Theurer said...

Great job Patti! Reposting.

Heather said...

Thank you! This gave me chills! Posting on Facebook and my blog!

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

Reposting here, too! Thank you!

Michelle said...

great job on the montage! Glad we could be a part of it!

nicole said...

Loved, loved, loved all these pictures! What a great video ~ I think you found a new part-time job.

Shauna said...

GREAT VIDEO Patti! Perfect! Sorry I didn't get a pic to you, my camera went missing for a couple days :(

Rachel said...

Beautiful!!! Tears in my eyes. Thank you for all your hard work. I'm gonna link to you for the video:)

Becky said...

Beautiful...that brought me to tears. I wish I would have taken a moment to figure out how to send a picture! :)

Annie @ The House That Jade Built said...

Beautiful kids, beautiful word, beautiful song - big tears from a Mommy to a very loved and adored little girl!

Naomi Rice said...

loved the slideshow!!

Debbie said...

Just beautiful, Patti! I'm sorry I wasn't on the ball to be able to add Josh into the mix. :( Lovely job, as always. Look at those cute kids!! Who needs style when you're that cute? ;)

aweyers2 said...

Beautiful! Those who does see DS as a blessing, must live a pretty boring life! What beautiful faces, I loved it! Way to go- and thank you so much!!!

Christine said...

Squealing with delight and blubbering with emotion all at once! Should've known I would need a box of tissues... darn. That was beautiful. Just perfect. Recognized a LOT of cute faces in there! Didn't make it into this one; maybe the next time around :) You did a fabulous job... and LOVE the song :)))

My Little Wonders said...

Absolutely beautiful Patti ... the photos, the song, our children. Stunning. :)

Shannon said...

thank you for the beautiful response to such a hurtful few words.

Yo Mamma Mamma! said...

Love it - I got all weepy seeing so many beautiful kids!

The Kirkland's said...

beautiful! Loved it!

Lori said...

So good!!! What great pictures!!!

Jenny said...

Patti, we LOVED this!!! Beautiful, just beautiful!! Perfect song too!!! As always we were proud to be a part of it :) Thank you!

laurahlj said...

Absolutely beautiful!

Laurie said...

Thanks for the chance to be part of this!! Nevin will get a kick out of seeing his picture in it, with his cousins!.

Jonana said...

Patti, this is the first chance I've had to comment about this post. This is special to me because I remember telling you, when we were talking about sweet Albina and any health concerns that she may or may not have that the Down Syndrome wasn't even an issue to me...bring it.
I cannot believe that guy said that in that article but I have a feeling my ears are only just beginning to hear things that may have just slid right past them before.
And Lily is totally rocking her sweet leopard shades...

kecia said...

awesome job! As usual! LOVE it!

butterflyburch said...

Hi! Great montage. I will be sharing it. :)

Mrs. K said...

Just had to revisit and now my cheeks are hurting cause I was smiling so much at those precious gifts from God. Would love to hug and kiss each and every one of them.