An 18-year-old Brisbane girl with Down Syndrome is embarking on a career as a model after taking part in her first fashion photo shoot.
Madeline Stuart, who models for Living Dead Clothing, captured global media attention after her mother Rosanne set up a Facebook page with photos of her earlier this year.
Rosanne told the TODAY Show she wanted the page, which now has 360,000 likes, to show positive images of her daughter living with a disability.
And I don’t want people to say to me, ‘Oh, I’m sorry’ when I say I’ve got a daughter with Down Syndrome. I want people to say, ‘Oh my god, she must be so beautiful’.”
When Madeline is not modelling and fielding requests for interviews from around the world, she loves cheerleading, swimming, dancing and Lady Gaga.
After struggling with her fitness and weight, the activities have given her a new confidence and outlook on life, Rosanne said.
TODAY presenter Sylvia Jeffreys, who accompanied Madeline on her fashion photo shoot, said what the teenager was doing was remarkable.
“The truly gorgeous thing about Maddy is that she is genuinely so comfortable in her own skin,” Jeffreys said.
“She’s really redefining beauty and people are stopping and thinking twice about what is beauty and what should be in front of the camera. And she deserves to be in front of the camera.”