Madeline Stuart is an 18-year-old Australian teen, with dreams of becoming a model. She has more than 168,000 Facebook fans, and a portfolio of modeling shots. She also has Down syndrome. The bio on the teen's Facebook page — titled, rather irreverently, Madeline Getting Downs To Modeling — explains her goal to change the public's perception about the disorder. "Madeline would like to be a model," it says. "Modeling will help change society's view of people with Down Syndrome. Exposure will help to create acceptance in life."
"She loves the attention when she is up on the stage, doing a play or competing in gymnastics or cheer, and I have always taken millions of photos of her, so she loves the camera," her mother, Rosanne, added in an interview with the Daily Mail Australia. "Maddy is so confident, she has no hang-ups. She is more than happy to parade around the house, showing me how gorgeous she is, with her hand up behind her head swaying her hips, as if to say 'look at me,'" Rosanne shared. "Only when she gets lots of attention through social media will the modeling world look at her. This is unfortunate but true, and she really wants to change the way people discriminate against disability. People with Down syndrome can do anything, they just do it at their own pace. Give them a chance and you will be rewarded beyond your greatest expectations." The teen is currently seeking an agent, but the public support has been overwhelming. Babies with Down syndrome have been tapped for high-profile campaigns in the past. Will Maddy get a chance, too?