Katie Meade is making beauty history. She’s the first model with Down Syndrome to land a major beauty campaign. Not only is the former Special Olympics athlete beautiful, but she’s fearless as well!
According to International Business Times, Meade is the face of Beauty & Pin-Ups’ new haircare line. The brand is all about women’s empowerment, as well as what it took to be a pin-up girl in the 1930s.
Company CEO Kenny Kahn met the 32-year-old model, on a day she was fulfilling her duties as the ambassador of Best Buddies. It didn’t take long for him to realize she was just what he was looking for.
— Beauty & Pin-Ups (@BeautyAndPinups) April 2, 2016
Best Buddies is a cause dedicated to ending the worldwide isolation of people with Down Syndrome and other developmental and intellectual disabilities. When you buy any Beauty & Pin-Ups product, a portion of the proceeds go to the organization.
Kahn says as soon as the company came up with the name “Fearless” for the hair-related campaign, Katie was even more of a shoo-in. Why? Because she was fearless!
Katie Meade isn’t the first model with Down Syndrome to make a name for herself. You might remember Madeline Stuart, who created a well-deserved buzz in the fashion industry in September 2015 and February 2016.
When she’s not busy modeling, Meade works in her local treasury office as an office generalist. She credits her sisters and Jennifer Lopez for inspiring her to always look her best. Among other things, her sisters taught her about fashion, shoes, jewelry, make-up, and how to put her hair up in a bun.
A recent Huffington Post piece explains Katie battled multiple health issues, including two open heart surgeries, as a child. She also overcame schoolyard bullying, which led to her involvement in Special Olympics. At the time, her favorite sporting events were basketball and gymnastics.
Unfortunately, growing up with Down Syndrome or any other type of disability isn’t always easy. As Meade puts it,
“Kids would make fun of me. I wasn’t always accepted by the ‘normal’ kids and that hurt.”
Katie Meade loves being the new face of the Beauty & Pin-Ups brand. She’s thrilled people have the chance to see her for who she is and not just someone with a disability.
— Teen Vogue (@TeenVogue) April 2, 2016
Katie also likes to try new things and to inspire women to do the same. She truly believes that beauty belongs to everybody. Way to go, Katie Meade! She also tells People she loves all of the Beauty & Pin-Ups products, but her favorite is the corrective hair masque, because it makes her hair feel so soft.
Chair of the International Down Syndrome Coalition Beth Sullivan feels strongly that models like Meade and Stuart are doing an excellent job of putting Down Syndrome in the spotlight. It shows the world Down Syndrome doesn’t take away a person’s capabilities and usefulness.
As recently reported by Inquisitr, 3-year-old Parker Abianac is the first Australian toddler with Down Syndrome to win the Bonds Baby Search.
What do you think about Katie Meade’s new affiliation with Beauty & Pin-Ups? To what extent do you feel it’s going to help reinforce the fact that individuals with Down Syndrome (and other disabilities) can achieve great things? Feel free to leave your feedback below.
[Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images]