The beauty industry has long been known for pushing an unrealistic and incredibly narrow of beauty — a standard that is slowly but surely getting edged out. Women of different backgrounds and skin tones, with different hair types and eye shapes and body sizes, are coming forward to redefine and celebrate all forms of beauty. One individual who deserves to be added to the ever-growing list is Katie Meade. Meade is the first woman with Down syndrome to be featured as the face of a beauty product. The 32-year-old — and her gorgeous red hair — appear in the campaign ads and on the packaging for Beauty & Pin-Ups' newest Fearless Hair Rescue Mask product. When it came to choosing a "fearless" ambassador for the product, Meade was an obvious choice. "Katie has battled heart surgery, competed in the Special Olympics, and shines as a Best Buddies International spokeswoman," a press release states. "She’s also a daughter, a sister, and a friend who has broken down barriers, busted stereotypes and stigmas, and won over countless hearts, including ours."
Meade is excited for her newest venture. She told People StyleWatch that she loves the brand's products — and beauty in general — and hopes to serve as an inspiration for women everywhere. “People see me for who I am and they see me not as someone with a disability, but that I have ability,” she told the site. “And I like to try new different things, and I inspire women to do that. Beauty belongs to everybody.” We absolutely love Meade's message and hope that as the industry continues to change, casting decisions like these become the norm — and won't even need to be accompanied with a press release. Thanks for blazing the trail, Katie.