Madeline Stuart has people talking about her latest photoshoot where she modeled a series of bridal gowns at Rixey Manor, a popular wedding venue in Northern Virginia. The photos are absolutely breathtaking, and what makes them so unique is that Stuart has Down Syndrome.
Stuart is the only professional model in the world with Down Syndrome and her career is on the rise. This past year alone, she has walked at New York Fashion Week twice, landed some huge ad campaigns, has had a handbag named after her, and has won the Mélange Model of the Year award.
The 19-year-old model from Brisbane Australia has worked hard for her success. As many people with Down Syndrome do, Stuart struggled with her weight. By changing her diet and implementing an exercise regimen into her life, she was able to get healthy and focus on her dream of modeling.
Stuart has never been afraid of the spotlight, which shows in her involvement in cheerleading and gymnastics. Fame struck for Stuart when she began to style her own outfits on a Facebook page set up by her mother, who wanted to share positive images of her daughter living with a disability. The site attracted hundreds of thousands of likes as well as an inflow of modeling offers.
Stuart has since continued to use her social media to change how people think about disability. As Madeline's mom stated, "She wants people to know that Down Syndrome is a blessing, something to be celebrated." Stuart is not only promoting inclusiveness and diversity in the modeling industry, but she is sending out a very important message about beauty and how it should be defined.