Break­ing the mould

Girlfriend - - FEATURES -

At 21, Made­line Stu­art is an in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned model. Made­line cap­tured the world’s at­ten­tion on so­cial me­dia thanks to her in­spir­ing weight­loss jour­ney and has since be­come the first pro­fes­sional model with Down syn­drome.

How does it feel to be a model?

It feels amaz­ing. I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved and grate­ful to have a plat­form to ad­vo­cate for more in­clu­sion!

Do you ever ex­pe­ri­ence self-doubt when it comes to your ca­reer?

Not when it comes to mod­el­ling. I feel at home on the cat­walk. The best thing you can do is be­lieve in your­self.

Have you been treated dif­fer­ently in the in­dus­try?

The main bar­rier is that some peo­ple do not see me as a pro­fes­sional, even though I worked very hard. They some­times think they are do­ing me a favour by in­clud­ing me in the show and then don’t think they have to pay me like the other pro­fes­sion­als.

What in­spired you to start your cloth­ing line 21 Rea­sons Why?

The name of my brand is in­spired by two ideas – the 21st chro­mo­some that rep­re­sents Down syn­drome and the fact that ev­ery­one looks for­ward to turn­ing 21. The ‘Rea­sons Why’ part is in­spired by all the rea­sons why I be­lieve we can be kinder, more in­clu­sive and lov­ing.

What ad­vice do you have for teens chas­ing their dreams?

Never give up. If you work hard and be­lieve in your­self, you will al­ways achieve what you want!

Made­line’s in­ter­view was done with the as­sis­tance of her mum, Rosanne Stu­art. Visit face­book.com/ made­li­nes­mod­elling for more.

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