18-year-old with Down Syndrome set to redefine modeling world

Facebook post: So 18 months ago I decided to turn my weight around and to concentrate on my health. This is the outcome. Please like and share my page if you believe our health is so important. Help me to encourage other people to get healthy.

Meet 18-year-old Madeline Stuart from Brisbane, Australia.

She has Down Syndrome but that is not holding her down.

This teen is into all kind of activities that you only hope to do some day - swimming, cricket, dancing, cheerleading, gymnastics, basketball, to name a few.

(Facebook: Madeline getting Downs to modelling)

Now, Madeline is chasing after her dream of becoming a model — she is not slowing down or refusing to take no for an answer.

She is on an inspiring mission to change the way society traditionally thinks about both of those things - modeling and Down Syndrome.

On Madeline's Facebook page, she writes that she chose to begin modeling out of her belief that "exposure will help to create acceptance."

(Facebook: Madeline getting Downs to modelling)

Her mother Roseanne told Buzzfeed that Madeline struggled with her weight growing up, but that she's gained confidence and lost weight through dance, swimming and cheerleading over the past few years.

Stuart said that, despite some people's perceptions of Down syndrome, her daughter feels beautiful from the inside out.

(Facebook: Madeline getting Downs to modelling)

Maddy's mom, Roseanne, told ABC, "She is not insecure in the least bit, but I have made a point of never letting anyone be critical of her and telling her every day how amazing, funny, smart, beautiful, wonderful she is."

The modeling goes along with Maddy's desire to live a healthier lifestyle. She realized she needed this because she couldn't keep up with friends in sports, Stuart said.

(Facebook: Madeline getting Downs to modelling)

Once about 45 pounds overweight, Maddy has nearly reached her goal weight loss, her mom said. This has been the result of keeping up her active lifestyle and eating healthy.

Stuart hopes Maddy shows that people with Down syndrome can live active, healthy lifestyles like everyone else, she said.

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