Australian model Madeline Stuart has landed two advertising campaigns with the New-York based clothing brand, everMaya, As LifeNews previously reported, Stuart has Down syndrome but has not allowed that to get in the way of her pursuing her dreams.
The co-founder of everMaya, Damian Graybelle, said the following about working with Madeline: “The experience working with her has had a positive impact on me personally as well as professionally. I just never expected that our campaign with Madeline would have had such an affect on people. I have spoken with so many parents of children with special needs that have told me how our partnership with her has given them hope and changed their perspectives on what the future holds for their children.”
Earlier this year, Graybelle elaborated on Madeline’s beauty. He said, “Madeline has external beauty—Down syndrome or not. But secondly, she captures inner beauty, which is something the everMaya brand is all about. She is so inspiring, and she epitomizes all those ideals about what real beauty is, not superficial beauty, real beauty that is more than skin-deep. The fact that she happens to be gorgeous is just a plus.”
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Additionally, everMaya has launched a handbag line called “Madeline,” and 5% of the sales from every purchase will go to the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS). In response, the president of NDSS, Sara Hart Weir, said, “The generous donations that will come as a result of this new handbag line will directly support our mission at NDSS, as we fight for the rights, values and dignity of all individuals with Down syndrome and our families.”
In July, the fitness brand Manifesta featured Madeline in clothing advertisements. On the company’s website, they said the following about her ads: “Just as Madeline is committed to expanding people’s ideas of what a model can be, Manifesta is determined to show that the clothing and fashion industry doesn’t have to be exclusionary, that one brand can work for women of various sizes.”
Madeline’s mother and campaign manager, Roseanne Stuart, believes culture is much more accepting of people with disabilities now than when her daughter was first born. She explained, “Things were a lot different 18 years ago. I remember having her in a [stroller] when she was a baby and small-minded people telling me she should not be out in public. Even her doctors said Madeline would never achieve anything. But things are changing every day and people are more accepting of what they don’t understand yet.”
Roseanne also said Madeline has become very confident despite her disability and she constantly reminds her that she’s perfect just the way she is. She said, “I have made a point of never letting anyone be critical of her. [I tell Maddy] every day how amazing, funny, smart, beautiful, [and] wonderful she is. It’s that confidence — and beauty, both inside and out — that Rosanne wants others to see. People need to see how she shines, how her personality just bursts out.”
Although it is true that culture has changed significantly in regards to accepting children with disabilities, many women still believe abortion is the best solution when faced with a fetal abnormality. In fact, 90% of women who receive the prenatal diagnosis that their child will have Down syndrome end their life through abortion. This statistic should remind pro-lifers that our work in protecting the disabled is not finished. It is critical that we pass legislation to protect unborn babies with Down syndrome, as well as children with other disorders.