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!


“Maddy is so confident, she has no hang ups [sic],” Rosanne told Parker Myles. “She is more than happy to parade around the house showing me how gorgeous she is with her hand up behind her head swaying her hips, as if to say, ‘Look at me!'” We see why. She’s seriously super fabulous, and she’s only 18!


You can just see her glowing from every picture—she’s a natural. “I think it is time people realized that people with Down syndrome can be sexy and beautiful and should be celebrated,” Rosanne told BuzzFeed. “. . . People need to see how she shines, how her personality just bursts out.”


Another way Madeline wants to make an impact in the world: she wants to help others get and stay healthy. “14 months ago I was very overweight,” Madeline wrote on her Facebook page, “and decided I needed to change my lifestyle and eating habits so I would live a long healthy life.” Madeline lost a whopping 40 pounds since then through exercise and eating right. “Now, I have decided I would like to help others to also achieve this,” Madeline continued.


“She does not care how she looks — she is not at all consumed with her looks,” Rosanne told Parker Myles. “But she does care that she can run around all the time now feeling great. If the average person could only see the beauty Maddy has inside, how loving and caring she is! If that is what people measured beauty on, than most of the models in the world would have Down syndrome. It truly is a beautiful thing.”

We know Madeline will be able to achieve her goals and more, and we are sure this isn’t the last we’ll be seeing of her. You go, Madeline! Thank you for making amazing waves in the modeling industry and raising awareness for such an wonderful cause!

(Images via.)

More like this

weighthealthModelingmodelmodelsbeauty standardsgymnaststigmaDown SyndromeTeen (obsolete)
newsletter illustration

Giggles in Your Inbox

!