Natty, short for Natalia, Goleniowska is a lucky seven year old who beat out hundreds of hopefuls to appear in the Sainsbury’s back to school ad. This isn’t just joyous news for Natty and her family though. but is significant in that she has Down Syndrome.
Natty’s mother, Hayley Goleniowska, also runs the group Down’s Side Up. A piece from The Daily Mail includes a statement from the Down Syndrome’s Association:
A spokeswoman from the Down’s Syndrome Association, said last night:
‘There does seem to be a sea-change going on at the moment in attitudes towards children with Down’s Syndrome and this a very positive thing. Anyone looking at pictures of Natty can see she is just delightful.
‘In a way, it is great not to make a fuss of it because to most school children, seeing a child with Down’s Syndrome in school is now part of everyday life. The fact that children like Natty are being included in advertising is very powerful.’
Natty’s mother is hardly the only one who has formed a “stereotyped ignorant that [her] ignorant subconscious created before.” And it was a joy she has been able to experience life with her daughter. As Tom Shakespeare, who himself has a disability, wrote for the BBC News, there is prejudice shown against people with disabilities. Yet those living with Down Syndrome enjoy a higher quality of life. Natty and her family are certainly testament to that.