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Madeline Stuart was diagnosed with Down syndrome only six minutes after she was born. But that didn’t stop her from becoming a star.

Two years ago, Stuart and her mother, Rosanne, attended a fashion show in Brisbane. This was Stuart’s first fashion show, and she fell in love with the lights, camera and action.

“As soon as we arrived, I knew she’d want to be up there on the catwalk,” said Rosanne. “And she said to me: ‘Mum, me model.’”

Rosanne listened to her daughter, allowing her to immediately get involved with active groups and healthy eating. In a year, Stuart had lost nearly 38 lbs. She was ready to face the modeling world, and, most surprisingly, they were ready for her.

Stuart’s latest appearance at New York Fashion Week became a trending topic. As she sported a flowy white dress by Lulu te Gigi, the audience applauded her as she walked down the runway. Now, she is the face of a new bridal campaign, photographed by Sarah Houston.

“People want to see people like themselves in fashion and advertising and marketing campaigns,” says Meg O’Connell, president of Global Disability Inclusion, an organisation helping brands understand the competitive advantages of disability inclusion. “People with disabilities buy clothes and cars and houses. They want to be represented, like everyone else; disability has been the forgotten diversity segment.”

Giphy.com source from RONNIEMEG.TUMBLR.COM

The world’s first professional Down syndrome model ignores her disability and fiercely struts down the runway AP Images
Lauren Grose About the author:
Lauren is an Associate Content Editor at RARE. During her years at Bloomsburg University, she delved into modern media by creating a fashion column titled “Dear Bloom,” which ultimately became a YouTube series. Shortly after graduating, Lauren packed her bags and flew to Tokyo to explore the city’s culture and, ...Read more
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