BeYOUtiful Birmingham is changing the face of beauty in the Magic City. The virtual fashion show and online auction features models with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) benefitting The Arc of Central Alabama. The online auction and social media campaign will take place August 10-15, 2020.

“The Arc’s one-of-a-kind fashion show is an opportunity to redefine beauty, so it celebrates every person's right to define it for themselves,” said The Arc’s Director of Development Emily Hamilton.

BeYOUtiful Birmingham Fashion Show and Online Auction

BeYOUtiful Birmingham is typically a live runway show, brunch, and silent auction held in person. Due to the uncertainty of what our world will look like for the foreseeable future, BeYOUtiful BHM has transitioned to a virtual event in 2020. The fashion show and auction will be hosted August 10-15 at, on Instagram @arcofcentralal, and on Facebook @arcofcentralal.

“As always, model submissions were open to the public. We have several friends who participate year after year and we just can’t wait to see the confidence and sass they bring to the runway. This year, however, instead of a celebrating in-person we had a socially-distanced photoshoot outside in our parking lot. Our models, and really whoever wants to participate, can engage with us on social media and show off their moves. While this event packs a much bigger punch live, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to highlight the IDD community and show off just how beautiful they are.”

BeYOUtiful Birmingham began as a way to make the dreams of Miss Val, who is served by The Arc’s Residential and Day Programs, come true. You can watch a short video about Miss Val here. The initiative has grown as a way to build awareness and celebrate the disability community’s unique strengths and differences as beYOUtiful.

Since its inception, BeYOUtiful Birmingham has served as a chance for people of all ages with IDD to grow their own confidence, and, through their inclusion in the spotlight, challenge and change the “face” of beauty in the Magic City and beyond. The setting of a fashion show offers a collaborative opportunity between the models and the audience to redefine the concept of beauty to be wholly inclusive, as well as a joyful, tangible way to celebrate every person's right to define beauty for themselves. The Arc works to create a world that affirms that we are all beautiful exactly as we are, while helping to change the perception of beauty one model at a time.

“To us, beauty is difference, confidence, courage, kindness, and joy,” said Hamilton. “To us, beauty celebrates all people of all abilities all the time. We hope you’ll join us in changing the face of beauty in the Magic City and beyond!”

The Arc of Central Alabama

The Arc of Central Alabama serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families through comprehensive and quality programming, advocacy efforts, education and awareness, all in an effort to ensure each person affected by IDD has the opportunity to reach his or her fullest potential for the most independent life possible.

Fundraising for HOPE

BeYOUtiful Birmingham is not only changing the face of beauty one model at a time, but The Arc is using the virtual event to raise money for its HOPE Program. HOPE (Helping Others through Parent Education) is an early intervention program which serves infants, toddlers, and their families. It provides the following services to children in Alabama for free, regardless of household income:

  • special instruction therapy
  • speech/language therapy
  • social-emotional therapy
  • occupational therapy
  • physical therapy in the child's natural environment
  • training for parents, caretakers and other natural supports to help the child progress

Donors can select from limited edition BExYOU gifts at all donation levels while supplies last. Merchandise includes a tote bag, compact mirror, travel pouch, water bottle, portable speaker, blanket, and self-care kit. BeYOUtiful T-shirts and face masks are also available for purchase.

Visit BeYOUtiful Birmingham ( for full details on the event, to donate, bid auction items and purchase merchandise. Check out The Arc of Central Alabama to learn more about The Arc’s services.