Madeline Stuart: Model With Down Syndrome To Walk In New York Fashion Week

Since Madeline Stuart launched her modeling career last year, she has been busy with photo shoots and runway shows, and she will now be heading to New York Fashion week to walk in the FTL Moda show on Monday, February 15.

The 18-year-old model, who was born with Down Syndrome, is the only professional model with a genetic disorder, according to ABC News. Despite her developmental disability, Madeline Stuart is determined to change what society thinks is “normal” when it comes to the modeling industry.

“I am a model, I hope through modelling I can change societies view of people with Disabilities, exposure is creating awareness, acceptance and inclusion,” Madeline’s Facebook profile reads.

Rosanne Stuart, Madeline’s mother and manager, said her daughter has started expressing herself more since she started modeling, and she is very proud of the message she is sending to the world.

“We always get fantastic feedback from makeup artists, photographers and product companies. She is not pretentious and very focused and down to earth, which I think is amazing as before this she could not get any type of work,” Stuart said. “She has also developed a very outgoing personality and communicates a lot more.”

As the Inquisitr previously reported, Madeline, who enjoys dancing, cheerleading, and gymnastics, decided she wanted to make a career out of modeling last year when she started living a healthier lifestyle. According to Rosanne, Madeline had always been very active, but she started putting on a little weight that made her uncomfortable.

“She wanted to do cartwheels and handstands but because she was too heavy she couldn’t,” Roseanne said during a May 2015 interview. “So Maddy wanted to get healthy and get more physical.”

Madeline is Roseanne’s only child, and over the past year, she has dedicated her life to making her daughter’s dreams come true.

“Madeline’s relationship with me is almost telekinetic. We have the most amazing bond, we just adore each other. She is my only child and it has been just her and I since she was born,” she said in an article featured on Parker Myles. “I’m very social – she’s my mini me! Maddy is so confident, she has no hang ups. She is more than happy to parade around the house showing me how gorgeous she is with her hand up behind her head swaying her hips, as if to say, ‘Look at me!'”

Since Madeline created her Facebook page last May, she has garnered over 500,000 likes. People from all over the world have come to her page to check out her modeling photos, and offer their support for her doing what she loves.

“I think the most exciting thing is all the thousands of people that have reached out in appreciation of what she is doing and what our beliefs are on changing the world’s perspective on disability,” Stuart said. “It has been really touching and has made us want to keep going and to keep trying to help people.”

Rosanne said Madeline is also very excited to be walking in the FTL Moda show for the second year in a row. Last year, Stuart was handpicked to open and close the Hendrik Vermeulen segment of the FTL Moda runway event, which was attended by stars like Drew Barrymore and Victoria’s Secret model Adriana Lima.

“We are so grateful for all the support [Madeline] gets as it not only makes her a very happy young woman but it gives us faith in humanity,” Stuart said.

[Photo by Chance Yeh/Getty Images]