Deccan Chronicle

American model with Down syndrome challenges fashion industry's beauty definitions

Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent

Published on: June 5, 2017 | Updated on: June 5, 2017

Katie Meade became the first model with Down syndrome to front a beauty campaign in 2016.

 Model Katie Meade (Photo: Instagram/ katiemeade18)

Model Katie Meade (Photo: Instagram/ katiemeade18)

Special Olympic athlete Katie Meade is on a mission to make sure everyone feels beautiful.

In 2016, Meade from Des Miones, Iowa, became the first model with Down syndrome to front a beauty campaign. She hopes to redefine the definitions of beauty in the fashion field as Down syndrome and other disabilities, are absent from the industry most of the time.

As a child, she loved getting dressed up in pretty outfits and wearing lipstick. While she hoped to one day become a model, she did not think it was possible.


Such a fun day! Can't wait to share more! Repost @thegingermaneman with @repostapp

A post shared by Katie Meade (@katiemeade18) on

"Being born with Down Syndrome can cause many problems, both physical and mental," she is quoted as saying by the Metro. Meade also revealed she was bullied by other kids and would often be made fun of.

Despite her hardships, the determined lady became an athlete in the Special Olympics and competed in several sports like gymnastics and basketball, the Metro reported. Meade's dream of becoming a model became a reality when she landed a modelling contract with haircare range Beauty & Pin-ups in 2016.

Now the 33-year-old wants to encourage all people to consider themselves worthy in the world of fashion and beauty.

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