Meet This 7-Year-Old With Down Syndrome Who’s a New Superstar Model

International   |   Rebecca Downs   |   Jun 25, 2014   |   3:39PM   |   London, England

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.’

nattyThe piece also goes into brief detail about the livelihood of those living with Down Syndrome, mostly in the form of statements from Hayley Goleniowska and a spokeswoman mentioned above. Hayley did not know of her daughter’s condition until after she was born. She expresses how she sees her daughter as “simply [her] daughter…” and also mentions how the reality of her family’s life is different from “all the outdated glimpses into the lives of adults with the condition when [she] was a child.”

Natty is very much a blessing, and perhaps it is very much a blessing that her condition was not known in utero, when she could have been aborted. The Daily Mail mentions that “around 1,000 babies are terminated a year, due to advances in prenatal screening…” Especially when these medical “advances” target babies before birth to be “terminated,” it certainly raises questions as to if there is such a thing as too much prenatal testing, and as to just because we have the technology if we should be making use of it. Some are saying that there is. It is quite possible that Natty’s life could have been cut short before it even began, that the Goleniowska’s could have been without a daughter, and Salisbury’s could have been without a model whom they are “delighted to work with…”

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.