Madeline Stuart: diversity advocate and the world’s first Down’s Syndrome model – Disability Horizons

Madeline Stuart is a 23-year-old model from Brisbane, Australia who has been dubbed ‘the world’s first famous model with Down Syndrome.’ Just over four years ago, Madeline’s game-changing modelling career began. Since then she has walked in more than 100 fashion shows across the globe including New York, Paris and London.

Our writer, Emma Purcell, got the chance to interview Madeline about her modelling career, dance school and campaign to change the world and make the fashion industry inclusive for all.

Madeline Stuart on becoming the first Down Syndrome model

What is it like living with Down’s Syndrome and have you experienced any difficulties or barriers?

Like everyone else, I face challenges. But that is why we have people in our lives, to give us support. I have family, friends, teachers and my boyfriend to help when I need it.

I have, of course, had struggles. That includes people treating me differently with my work. But that was one of the reasons why I was inspired to continue modelling. I want to change the way society views people with Down’s Syndrome or any disability.

We are all human and our differences are what makes society so beautifully, diverse and wonderful. The world would be boring if we were all the same!

One of the biggest barriers I faced at the beginning of my career was that some people didn’t see me as a professional, even though I am and have worked very hard to get to where I am.

Some people thought they were doing me a favour by including me in a show and didn’t think they had to pay me like the other professionals.

We have overcome this in the past few years by educating people. I work hard and am a valuable asset to campaigns. I deserve to be treated equally.

Click here to read full article

Font Resize