BRISBANE, Australia -- Madeline Stuart is an aspiring teen model looking for an agent.
She might just get one now that her story has gone wildly viral on Facebook this week.
The teen from Brisbane Australia has Down syndrome and she wants to be a model to help change the way others view the condition.
"Modeling will help change society's view of people with Down Syndrome, exposure will help to create acceptance in life," wrote Maddy on Facebook.
Maddy wrote that she had struggled with her weight for most of her life, but was recently inspired to do something about it. Thanks to dance, cheerleading and swimming she has lost more than 40 lbs.
Maddy’s mom told BuzzFeed this week that it’s time people realize that someone with Down syndrome can be beautiful and “should be celebrated.”
The reaction to Maddy’s modeling photos, shared on Facebook and Instagram, has turned her into something of a global sensation.
“As an advocate for individuals with a variety of developmental disabilities, I have to tell you, you are an amazing inspiration,” wrote Renee Pennington-Roy of Fort Wayne Indiana on Maddy’s Facebook page. “You are smart, beautiful and oh so loving!! You rock honey!”
“What an awesome thing,” wrote Moriah McCracken. “You are gorgeous! Keep pursuing your dreams!”
Maddy’s mom told Buzzfeed that times have changed dramatically in the last 18 years.
“I remember having her in a stroller when she was a baby and small-minded people telling me she should not be out in public.”