Fitness Brand Signs Model With Down Syndrome As Their New Face


It wasn’t too long ago that we see actress Jamie Brewer become the first model with Down Syndrome to walk the runway at NYFW for designer Carrie Hammer who has literally built her reputation on being a rule breaker in the fashion industry.

And now we are seeing another label featuring a model with down syndrome in a bid to break down stereotypes and show was diversity and inclusivity looks like.

US fitness brand Manifesta, created by Rachel Blumenfeld in 2011, has signed a young Australian model named Madeline Stuart who has amassed a huge following online following some recent press.

Madeline was featured on the Daily Mail website who credited her as being the face of a new generation of fashion, one that is more focused inner beauty but is also giving rise to a more diverse portrayal of physical beauty. And we all know this is well overdue!

Along with her exposure, Madeline has talked about her weight loss journey on her Facebook page and how she pursued a dream of becoming a model to inspire others. The 18 year old from Brisbane, Australia documented her 20 kilogram weight loss and how it made her happy to be healthy again.

It seems she became a perfect candidate for Manifesta, a brand that prides itself on believing every woman has the right to feel sexy, and instead of making a regular sizing chart available to customers, they have named all their sizes in order that one size isn’t portrayed as superior over the other. We love this! FYI their sizes range from 0-28.


“We don’t want there to be an inherent order to the sizes, with women striving to fit into the smallest number possible. And we don’t want women to feel bad for ordering a size that society has deemed “unacceptable.” We just want you to get what fits,” says the description about why they chose to do this unique idea.

In a blog post about signing Madeline on their Tumblr page, Manifesta describe why they are excited to be part of the Madeline extravaganza that is changing the way people look at models.

“For years Madeline has fought against the struggles, both internal and external, that go along with Down syndrome. Through dance, swimming, and cheer leading she has worked to strengthen her heart and body. And through her modeling career, she has forced many to reconsider the conventional standards of beauty,” they said.

“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.”

Now THAT’s “fitspo” worth talking about!


Back in May when Madeline and her mother Rosanne spoke to the Daily Mail about her career and newfound fame, Roseanne said it was unfortunate that it took a huge social media following and major press for the fashion industry to even take notice of her, but they both hope it will be a wake up call.

“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,” said mum Rosanne.

When Madeline was younger, people on the street would tell her mum that she shouldn’t be taking her out in public. Rosanne was even told by doctors that her daughter would never achieve anything. Can you imagine!? We’d like to think society has progressed since that time but clearly we need to see more Madeline Stuart’s in the public eye in order to continue breaking down misconceptions and negative stereotypes.

When she was first at school, on the sports day some of the parents didn’t want her to compete as they wanted their child’s team to win,” she revealed.


But more importantly, her mom is extremely proud to have a daughter who is not only proving people wrong, but breaking down barriers to inspire others at the same time.

“I think it is time people realized that people with Down syndrome can be sexy and beautiful and should be celebrated. I want people to stop saying “I’m sorry” when I tell them my daughter has Down syndrome, because it’s a very naive statement. Maybe Maddy can stop people feeling that way. If the average person could see the beauty Maddy has inside, how loving and caring she is and if that is what people measured beauty on, then most of the models in the world would have Down syndrome,” she said.

Heck yeah! We’d LOVE to see more models like Madeline dominated the pages of magazines, runways and campaigns.

Big props to Manifesta for being a forward thinking brand and not being confined to the narrow standards. We hope Madeline’s presence will inspire all women to embrace who they are, and also show women who are going on a weight loss journey not to despise themselves, but love themselves toward a healthier body.


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