Eighteen-year-old Madeline Stuart is successfully eliminating the modeling industry’s restrictive, unspoken rules. When we last admired her, Madeline was working to change society’s view of Down syndrome and, since then, she’s made a lot of progress. At Virginia’s Rixey Manor, the young woman recently collaborated with photographer Sarah Houston on a bridal shoot, aiming to show the world that all women can be brides if that’s what they want. “A lot of women can’t see themselves as brides since magazines only use tall, thin models,” Isadora Martin-Dye, who hired Madeline for the shoot at her manor, told BuzzFeed. “I wanted to find someone who would inspire other brides, [and Madeline was perfect because she] always comes across as so warm and full of joy.”
Despite these positive intentions, Madeline’s mom Rosanne was worried that other publications would state that her daughter was getting married to try and sell papers. In the end, Rosanne realized it was much more important to focus on changing how others see those with Down syndrome. “How is it someone with a disability can love their parents or siblings so intensely just like everyone else, but for some reason [other people assume they] can’t also have feelings for a boyfriend or husband?” Rosanne wondered.
Based on this stunning shoot alone, we cannot wait to see what Madeline’s next project will be.