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Jessica, A Model With Down Syndrome, Is Defying Beauty Standards And Paving The Way For Others

“Discrimination against people with Down syndrome, even in developed nations, is profound,” said Michelle Sie Whitten, Executive Director of the Global Down Syndrome Foundation. That’s right. Not only Down syndrome but many other diseases that make a person different from others are also subject to a lot of stigmas.

The strongest individuals are forcing change within the community, not allowing anything to hold them back, and fighting the stigma and stereotypes of beauty. Jessica Jacinto, a 22-year-old model living in Valencia, Venezuela is a prime example of this. What makes her different is that she was born with Down syndrome, a condition in which a person has an extra chromosome. However, neither this illness nor the stigma from everyone could stop Jessica from achieving her dream of becoming a professional model. And she achieved it after many years of preparation, continuous efforts, and thanks to the motivation of becoming a genuine catwalk star.

Scroll down to know more about this girl’s journey to achieving her dreams.

#1 Nothing would stop the 22-year-old girl from achieving her ambition of being an international model.

Source: © jessica_model99 / Instagram

#2 Jessica has the personality and mastery on stage, aspects that are conquering many people.

Source: © jessica_model99 / Instagram, © jessica_model99 / Instagram

“I want to be an international model.” “I like the pictures, I like to walk the runway.”

#3 The dream manifested when she was 14 and invited to participate in a beauty pageant, finding her true passion. Before that, Jessica used to challenge herself in many different sports but they really didn’t make her happy.

Source: © jessica_model99 / Instagram, © jessica_model99 / Instagram

“In no sport did I see her happy, I saw that she was wasting her time and I was wasting mine too. When I saw her walk the runway I realized that this was her world, not mine.”

#4 “I feel empowered,” said Jessica, modeling becoming a source of confidence

Source: © jessica_model99 / Instagram

“For me, being a model is like studying a career that you like, that you are really passionate about, and even if you don’t believe it, it takes dedication and innovation to improve yourself. The minute I’m on the catwalk, I become someone else. It’s almost as if there was someone else inside me suddenly coming out. I feel empowered.”

#5 Everyone who’s worked with her had nothing but positive things to say, her motivation and charisma charming them all

Source: © jessica_model99 / Instagram,  © jessica_model99 / Instagram

#6 The road to success is never paved in rose petals; she and her mom have worked extra hard to get where they are today

Source: © jessica_model99 / Instagram

As her mother says, “There is still a long way to go in Venezuela in terms of inclusion. The few big modeling agencies I’ve tried to get her into to give her a push always tell me they’re going to call me and they never do, same goes with some brands.”

#7 “We are different, but not inferior” – Jessica is also a verified member of the Venezuelan Red Cross

Source: © jessica_model99 / Instagram, © jessica_model99 / Instagram

“Being a Red Cross member was a very nice and educational experience, of which I feel very proud. The project showed me that I could do anything I set my mind to and that I could perform various activities. That is why I am in a dance academy, also in skating.”

“Thanks to the project, I shared for the first time with kids with Down syndrome in various activities, as I have always been included with regular kids.”

#8 The bond between mom and daughter is very strong, both proud of their journey together and looking forward to the future

Source: © jessica_model99 / Instagram

“As a mother, you feel proud that your daughter is reaching her goals. Her day-to-day life is like any other person’s: she goes to school, to extra-curricular activities, we don’t really make a big deal about modeling at home. We haven’t changed our humble approach to life, in fact, many parents with children with this condition have written to us asking for advice.” said by her mother.

#9 Jessica is her parents’ pride.

Source: © jessica_model99 / Instagram

“My parents are very happy and proud of me, as they see that every day I work hard and I’m very disciplined, every day more and more. And of course, they see I’m happy, which is what they really want for me.”

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