Shattered Standards, Changed Catwalk

Kira Littlejohn ’16
EE Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

Have you seen the drastic changes in the model industry? People with disabilities are beginning to hit the runway in a revolutionary new movement. Madeline Stuart, an Australian model with down syndrome, is one of many.  She like many others are changing the world with every strut. According to an excerpt from Madeline Stuart Model, her mother informs us that she has strutted the catwalk in New York in support of autoimmune awareness and has also become the face of Glossigirl, making her the first model with disabilities to ever do this. Miss Stuart has also been nominated for the Pride of Australia Award as well as the Young Australian of the Year Award. Her mother is sure that this is helping to end discrimination against people with disabilities everywhere. Madeline herself also wants to break people’s discriminations against people with disabilities and alter people’s perceptions of beauty according to News.

After hearing about Madeline Stuart, Alexei Thompson, senior at Trumbull High School says, “I feel great about that because it’s time to look at every single person and make them feel like they’re beautiful even if they’re disabled.”

However, Madeline Stuart  isn’t the only one redefining our views on what a model should look like. As stated in Daily Mail, several models boldly advanced down the runway in wheelchairs along with the world’s first male amputee model, Jack Eyers, and the first model with down syndrome to strut the New York Fashion Week’s runway, Jamie Brewers. The show worked in conjunction with Fondazione Vertical which supports research to find cures for spinal injuries.

Jack Eyers was ecstatic to be there. According to Cosmopolitan, he said in an interview, “‘To be the first male amputee model on a New York Fashion Week runway feels amazing. It feels like such a big deal. I just want to show that having a disability doesn’t need to hold you back.’”

Jack Eyers couldn’t be righter. From marvelous Madeline Stuart to the breathtaking models and wondrous amputees, we see that a disability cannot hold people back. It’s more about the heart than anything else. Society is shown that beauty doesn’t have to be confined to a certain standard or perception.

Upon hearing about models with disabilities, Miss Deborah Hamilton of Children’s Learning and Therapy Center, a center that assists people with disabilities, adamantly said, “‘Why not? Why not? People are people and if you’re able or capable, do it. Isn’t that the Nike slogan? Just do it?’”

Isn’t that the sentiment everyone should have? From America to Egypt to Japan, isn’t it agreeable that “people are people”? It’s lovely to know that as our standards constantly fluctuate, our definition of beauty continues to  broaden.


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