Kids & Family

Four-Year-Old Sees Herself in Beauty Ad Featuring a Disabled Woman

When a mother catches her daughter's reaction, she knew she had to share it with the rest of the world.


Representation matters - especially for companies that use images of beautiful women to sell their products. That's why, when the mother of a young girl in a wheelchair caught her daughter staring at an ad picturing a disabled model, it was a very important moment in both of their lives.

Carolyn Anderson and her four-year-old daughter, Maren, were out shopping when they came across the ad at an ULTA Beauty store in Leesburg, Virginia. Maren suffers from a rare disease caused by a gene mutation and has to use a wheelchair. When she saw the ad of a beautiful model in a wheelchair, she stopped and could not stop staring at it. Carolyn captured a photo and later posted it to Facebook .

(Source: Carolyn Kovacs Anderson Facebook )

"Well Ulta, you absolutely stopped my girl in her tracks this evening. It was mesmerizing to watch her stop, turn and gaze at this poster. So thank you,: Carolyn wrote.

The heartwarming post has since gone viral and has a lot of people congratulating ULTA for promoting inclusivity.

One person commented, "Beauty lies within. It does not define whether one is in a wheelchair or not or has any disabilities or not. Kudos Ulta!"

The model in the ad is 29-year-old California native Steph Aiello. Aiello is a popular beauty vlogger who became quadriplegic after a car accident. She has always been interested in make-up and beauty products, and she shares make-up tutorials on her Instagram and YouTube accounts. According to an Instagram post, Aiello considers the ULTA ad one of her biggest accomplishments.

(Source: @uwalk_iglide )

A spokeswoman from ULTA Beauty told NBC-4 that the company is planning to fly Aiello to Virginia so that she can take Maren on a special shopping trip.

"We love that this family shared such an amazing moment and were touched to see Maren looking at the image in our window - it makes us incredibly proud," the spokeswoman said.

"We feel even more inspired to continue to feature amazing people that help us shape how the world sees beauty." - Ulta Spokeswoman
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