Is the world ready for a model with Down syndrome?

Madeline Stuart has been posting pictures on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to get the attention of casting agents. Stuart, 18, says she wants to be a model on ad campaigns and walk down fashion runways to help “change society’s view of people with Down syndrome.”

madeline-stuart-australia-model3Madeline Stuart/Facebook

Stuart’s mother said her daughter started posing for photos after losing more than 40 pounds. The teen has been swimming five times a week and playing several other sports with the Special Olympics in Australia. She’s also been taking hip hop classes.

“If the average person could see the beauty Maddy has inside, how loving and caring she is and if that is what people measured beauty on, then most of the models in the world would have Down syndrome,” Stuart’s mother Rosanne told the Daily Mail.

Ready to pounce on my next chance at modelling

A photo posted by Madeline Stuart (@madelinesmodelling_) on

 

“Only when she gets lots of attention through social media will the modelling world look at her, this is unfortunate but true and she really wants to change the way people discriminate against disability,” Rosanne Stuart said.

 

So far at least one company has reached to the Stuarts. After the teen’s story went viral on Australian social media networks an Australian apparel company called Living Dead approached the family and sent a package with clothing, according to reports.

“I want people to stop saying ‘I’m sorry’ when I tell them my daughter has Down syndrome, because it’s a very naive statement,’ Stuart’s mother told the Daily Mail.

 

“[The exposure will help to create acceptance in life,” explains the description on Stuart’s Facebook page.

When models with Down syndrome appear on runways or ads, they have been celebrated by the fashion world.

Living dead rocks

A photo posted by Madeline Stuart (@madelinesmodelling_) on

 

In 2012, a baby swimwear company featured a 10-month-old with Down syndrome in an ad campaign. Earlier this year, actress Jamie Brewer made Fashion Week history when she became the first model with Down syndrome to walk down the runway in New York.

Madeline Stuart’s pictures are already changing perceptions, with or without a modeling contract. Her story has been featured on sites like BuzzFeed, ABC News, and NBC’s The Today Show website.

Her social media posts are being seen by hundreds of thousands of people. Madeline Stuart’s Facebook page launched just 10 days ago and already has more than 100,000 likes.

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