— Most Likely to Succeed

This teen is challenging the way the modeling world thinks about beauty — in the best way

Recently, we’ve been SO excited about the changes that are happening in modeling. There’s Tess Holliday, who is rocking the plus-sized modeling world by being the largest model to sign with a major agency, and ALDA, a band of fab women who are set out to change beauty standards in modeling . . . and now, we’re totally in love with 18-year-old Madeline Stuart, a young aspiring model from Brisbane, Australia.

Madeline has Down Syndrome, but her condition hasn’t stopped her one bit. In fact, on top of her modeling work, she’s a dancer, swimmer, cheerleader, gymnast, AND a basketball player. . . and she’s set out to change the way people view Down Syndrome through her future modeling career. With the help of her mom, Rosanne, Madeline wrote on her Facebook page that modeling “will help to change [society’s] view of people with Down Syndrome . . . exposure will help create acceptance in life.”

The stigma attached to Down Syndrome is pervasive in society. Many assume that those with Down syndrome are unintelligent or unable. “I remember having [Madeline] in a [stroller] when she was a baby and small-minded people telling me she should not be out in public,” Rosanne told BuzzFeed. “. . . Her doctors told me she would never achieve anything.”

The opposite is the truth, according to Madeline’s mom. “People with Down syndrome can do anything. They just do it at their own pace,” Rosanne continued. “Give them a chance and you will be rewarded beyond your greatest expectations.”

Madeline has totally proved that, because she’s on track to becoming a fabulous model. Check out these amazingly gorgeous shots!

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