Madeline Stuart is a gorgeous 18-year-old with big plans to become a model. It's a dream not unlike that of many of her peers. But what makes Madeline's dream unique is that she has Down syndrome — and that means every move she makes in her modeling career is smashing down barriers once thought to be impenetrable.
Madeline, who lives in Brisbane, Australia, wrote on her Facebook page that she believes “modeling will help change [society’s] view of people with Down syndrome.” “Exposure will help to create acceptance,” she says.
Like many people with Down syndrome — or heck, many people without Down syndrome — Madeline struggled with her weight when she was younger. But thanks to a lifestyle change that involved healthy eating and exercise, the teen lost 45 pounds and hopes to inspire others with Down syndrome to healthier living. Madeline now counts dance, swimming, gymnastics and cheerleading on her list of activities.
Madeline’s mom, Roseanne Stuart, is her daughter's biggest fan. "I think it is time people realized that people with Down syndrome can be sexy and beautiful and should be celebrated," she told WVPI-TV.
At press time, Madeline was in search of a modeling agent. Judging from the success of her Facebook page (currently at more than 309,000 likes) her modeling career is about to take off.
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