Young teen model Madeline Stuart has made an impact on social media during the last few days, following her debut. The thing that sets her apart from other young models, however, is that Madeline has Down Syndrome.
Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder that can result in developmental and intellectual delays. This often results in issues with spinal posture, facial symmetry, and weight gain. Over the last year, Madeline lost 40 pounds by improving her diet and adding exercise into her daily schedule. She wanted to be a model, and with the support of her family and friends, she’s been able to achieve her dreams. Madeline says that she wants people to realize that people with Down Syndrome are beautiful, too.
Body acceptance has become a huge movement over the last few years, and this is just another step in accepting and loving the beautiful person that you are. Madeline is an example and inspiration to everyone. She is proving that you can be and do anything you want, no matter your limitations.
Our society glorifies thin, fit girls with lanky, tan limbs, and flawless features. Although some women DO look like this, some do not and never will, simply because of their body type. And it’s important to let go of this ideal.
The “ideal body” has changed so drastically that it’s impossible to be satisfied with what you have. In Ancient Egypt (1292-1069 BC), the ideal woman had slim shoulders with a slender frame and high waist. In Ancient Greece (500-300 BC), however, the ideal woman was very plump and full figured. Also, Renaissance Italy (1400-1700) preferred a very rounded body. The larger the hips and breasts, the better! A high forehead, something that is also no longer the “ideal,” was considered the mark of beauty!
I know that these examples were a significantly long time ago. But look at this: In the 1920s, the perfect woman had no curves. In fact, they tried to flatten their breasts, in order to make their forms appear more “boyish.” But then, from the 1930s-1950s, the model woman became drastically larger and curvier. This ideal has swung back and forth in the last 60 years.
Some of us have cankles, some of us have pointy ears, and some of us have tiny hips. But every single one of us is beautiful. When you continuously pick apart your flaws, you don’t see the beautiful person you are as a whole. We, as a society, need to be nicer to ourselves. We are all beautiful. Stop comparing yourself to other girls.
This is why Madeline Stuart has become such a big deal. She’s a beautiful girl that hasn’t let anything stop her from living her dream. Don’t be held back by yourself or anyone else’s standards. Be you, and be beautiful.
Featured Image via Popsugar.