Like many young women, Madeline Stuart wants to be a model. But Madeline has something that makes her unique – she has Down Syndrome.

11026324_1448206752143387_3849870704467521521_oThe 18 year old aspiring model from Brisbane, Australia had struggled with her weight for most of her life, and after losing nearly 40 lbs through cheerleading, dance, and swimming set her sights on a new goal – modeling.

11150661_1449407772023285_5086960998501472716_nMadeline hopes that through modelling, she will challenge some of the traditional ideas about beauty and how people view those with Down Syndrome. On her Facebook page, Madeline says that she hopes that her modeling will help people see that people with Down Syndrome can lead full lives, and that they can be accepted in society.

11206530_1448207295476666_9089496009110328151_oAlthough attitudes towards people with Down Syndrome and other disabilities are changing, Madeline’s mother Rosanne remembers a time when this wasn’t the case. She says that when Madeline was a baby, she would take her out in a stroller, and would be told by passers-by that she shouldn’t be outside with her daughter.

Now, things are looking up for Madeline. Her Facebook page has more than 72,000 likes, and she was recently given a modeling contract to feature in a photo shoot by Australian clothing company Living Dead Clothing.

11224879_1448736045423791_8955842466739293873_nImages courtesy of Madeline on her Facebook Page.

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