I’ve spoken about my fears of Mini not fitting into conventional societal standards here, mainly due to my own horribly misinformed preconceptions of what I thought life for a person with Down syndrome entailed. It was not a positive view. I saw her struggle to fit in, not be treated the same as other children, being pitied, and generally being left to the shadows, while other kids shone.
Well, this is the second year she has been the star of a photocall for the launch of the Baboró International Arts Festival for Children. The festival is in its 17th year now and is chock full of amazingly creative and talented artists bringing magic to theatres and venues across Galway city. Its target audience of children and young adults gives it a unique feel among the plethora of festivals that grace the streets of Galway every year but it’s got enough to keep both kids and adults throughly entertained and is one of the city’s most popular events.
From start to finish, Mini stole the show at the photocall to promote the launch of this year’s festival, lighting up the shoot with her boundless energy and infectious grin. It was her big personality which shone through, delighting photographers, other models and parents alike.
I’ve read about other kids with Down syndrome modelling-most notably on Hayley Goleniowska’s fantastic website http://www.downssideup.com/ where you can meet her gorgeous daughter, Natty who at only 5 years old is already a seasoned ambassador for the Down syndrome community and also handsome Seb Playle who has modelled for Marks and Spencers and other high profile clients. You can read more about Seb through his mum Caroline’s writing here.
It’s wonderful to be able to see these kids for who they are- talented, beautiful, charming individuals rather than focusing in on their differences first. Person before syndrome is how they should be viewed and inclusive modelling shoots really help to reinforce this view.
Here’s Mini doing her thing at the shoot-
|Photo credit:Boyd Challenger|
And on the front page of local newspaper, The Connaught Sentinel-
And here’s our top model all tuckered out after the excitement of the day and dreaming of the wonderful shows she’ll be going to see when the festival opens on 14th October. Check out the amazing programme here! It won’t disappoint!