18-year-old Madeline Stuart recently decided to become a model. Her story is making headlines and winning support because of one little difference, however – Maddy has Down syndrome.

Because she enjoys swimming and dancing, Maddy was frustrated by the extra weight she had holding her back. With the help of her mother, Rosanne, she lost 44lbs (20kg). Her new-found energy and confidence inspired her to try modeling, and her inspiring story soon found a supporter in the Living Dead label, which prides itself on signing models of diverse body types.

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Meet Maddy, an 18-year-old with Down syndrome who wants to be a model

After she lost 44lbs (20kg) to keep healthy, she decided to start modeling

“She really wants to change the way people discriminate against disability,” said Maddy’s mother

“People with Down syndrome can do anything, they just do it at their own pace. Give them a chance and you will be rewarded beyond your greatest expectations”

“I think it is time people realized that people with Down syndrome can be sexy and beautiful”

“I want people to stop saying ‘I’m sorry’ when I tell them my daughter has Down syndrome, because it’s a very naive statement”

“If the average person could see the beauty Maddy has inside, how loving and caring she is and if that is what people measured beauty on, then most of the models in the world would have Down syndrome”

“I feel so blessed to have a daughter like Maddy, I won lotto the day she was born”