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Aspiring Teen Model With Down Syndrome Hopes To Redefine Beauty Standards

Madeline Stuart won't let Down syndrome define her.

Society's beauty norms are pretty rigid, but one aspiring model is on a quest to break them down.

Madeline, who lives in Brisbane, Australia, has Down syndrome. She believes "modelling will help change [society's] view of people with Down syndrome," and "exposure will help create acceptance."

Madeline's mother told Buzzfeed, the teen (who recently lost 40 pounds) has gained a newfound confidence thanks to her healthy lifestyle choices; Madeline swims, dances, and cheerleads.

Her mother also explained, "I think it is time people realized that people with Down syndrome can be sexy and beautiful and should be celebrated."

"Her doctors told me she would never achieve anything. But things are changing every day and people are more accepting of what they don't understand yet."

Her mother is definitely right. Earlier this year, we saw actress with Down syndrome Jamie Brewer (of "American Horror Story" fame) walk the runway at New York Fashion Week, and back in 2013, 17-year-old Karrie Brown, who also has Down syndrome, was featured in a Wet Seal ad campaign.

According to Buzzfeed, Madeline is currently looking for an agent. In the meantime, she's winning over the Internet -- she has more than 150,000 fans on Facebook already.

Now here's hoping the fashion industry takes notice!

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Jennie Runk

Body Image Heroes

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