Rise To Global Inclusivity: How A 21-Year-Old UK Model With Down Syndrome Became A Model For Gucci And Vogue
Beauty ideals change all the time. Sometimes there are strange trends like BBL or buccal fat removal. But the good news is, more and more people are realizing the importance of seeing models and magazine covers featuring people who look like them.
Meet Ellie Goldstein, featured on the British Vogue cover and now inspiring a new Barbie doll, despite her 5-foot stature and a disability from birth.
Ellie was born in December 2001. Before she was born, all the tests and scans showed everything was normal. So, when Ellie was born with Down's syndrome and heart problems that needed surgery, it was a big surprise for the doctors and her parents.
Ellie's mom, Yvonne, had a hard time bonding with her at first. So, her dad, Mark, took care of her in the beginning, changing diapers, helping her sleep, and giving her cuddles. He told Yvonne, "Let's take it one day at a time," and they did.
Doctors even suggested to Yvonne that she might want to give Ellie up because they didn't have much hope.
This made Yvonne worried about getting close to Ellie. She thought, "Why get close if she won't be here for long?" But then, something changed. Ellie started responding to her parents with a cute gummy smile.
Yvonne had a hard time looking at Ellie's face because she had some signs of Down's syndrome. But over time, she realized how uniquely beautiful her daughter was. In fact, Ellie would go on to appear on the covers of famous fashion magazines like Elle, Glamour, and even Vogue.
With the help of her family, she proved everyone wrong – now she has a successful career.
She published a book, posed on the cover of Vogue and even collected the keys to her very own home.
Ellie's parents aren't sure if she'll ever be able to live on her own, but they encouraged her to buy her own home. At 21, she proudly owns a house in Essex, which she bought with the money she earned from modeling. Her home is a great place to relax after a long day at college, where she's studying arts alongside her job. Ellie likes to think about the doctor who once said she'd never walk or talk and how she's proved them wrong.
Her positive outlook on life brightens every room she walks in.
Eight months after she first signed with a modeling agency, Ellie got a chance to be in Superdrug's Christmas advert. After that, she did a photoshoot with Gucci, and the post got over 7,000 comments. Most of them were nice and supportive, but there were also some mean trolls who didn't follow the simple rule "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."
Ellie's story shows that beauty can be found in all shapes and sizes, and determination knows no bounds. When we think of models, we usually imagine people who look amazing in high-fashion outfits with radiant smiles – and Ellie definitely fits the bill. Hopefully, in the future, we'll see more diverse beauty standards represented. But for now, when you're feeling down about yourself, remember Ellie's words: "I don't look like them. I'm me!"
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