(May 19, 2015) – A teenage girl in Australia is hoping to help change society’s view of people with Down syndrome as well as conventional beauty by pursuing a modeling career
18-year-old Madeline Stuart wrote on her Facebook page that she wants to be a model because she believes “exposure will help create acceptance.”
Her mother Roseanne told Buzzfeed that Madeline has struggled with her weight her entire life, a common problem for people with Down syndrome. But recently she lost 40 pounds and has gained confidence, thanks to dance, cheerleading, and swimming.
“I think it is time people realized that people with Down syndrome can be beautiful and should be celebrated,” Roseanne told Buzzfeed.
Roseanne says her daughter is using her newfound confidence to achieve her dream of modeling, and the she wants to use that as a platform to create awareness.
“People with Down syndrome can do anything. They just do it at their own pace,” said Roseanne.
According to Buzzfeed, Madeline is currently looking for an agent, and Roseanne takes every opportunity to encourage her daughter.
“I have made a point of never letting anyone be critical of her,” she said. “[I tell Maddy] every day how amazing, funny, smart, beautiful, [and] wonderful she is,” said Roseanne