With the fashion industry seeking to diversify their range of models, people who were once considered disabled are now walking the runways and posing in photo shoots for high end magazines. In recognition of not only the fact that they are every bit as capable as the models handpicked for their physical perfection, they have big dreams to become models just like any of us.
First to kick off the movement that’s now sending ripples of change through the fashion industry is 19 year old Madeline Stuart, an Australian model with Down Syndrome whose big dreams came true after she decided to tackle her weight problems and chase her dreams. Aspiring to change the discriminatory attitude people have against disabilities, she has taken to the fashion industry and social media to make the change herself. She has never let anything stop her pursuit and it has paid off. Madeline Stuart walked the runways at New York Fashion Week not once, but twice in addition to having a bag named after her at EverMaya handbags.
Landing contracts with sportswear and accessory brands, she has also done a bridal photo shoot that was warmly received by Internet users while also making it to become the cover girl of GlossiGirl Cosmetics. She is the first adult with Down Syndrome who has become a professional model.
Now the ranks have been joined by Jillian Mercado, model and blogger with muscular dysthrophy who is currently represented by IMG Models.
She has recently posed for none other than Queen Beyonce’s new collection featuring lines from her songs ‘Formation’ and ‘7/11’. The model took to Instagram to thank Beyonce herself for giving her the opportunity, saying “OK LADIES now let’s get in FORMATION! So BEYond excited to finally announce that I’m on [email protected]beyonce website!!! A special shout out to Queen Bee herself and the amazing team behind it.”
Source: Google/ Instagram