Monika, 14 years old, became the first model with Down syndrome in the world who walked the runway during the Kids Fashion Week in Toronto. Audra Brown, a videographer, talked about how the teenager’s courage and confidence inspired her to pursue a career in modeling.
Monika made history earlier this month when she walked the runway at Fashion Art Toronto. She was chosen by designers Amelia Tuu and Lesley Hampton to participate in the event. In an email, she said that participating in the event was a great honor and that she felt beautiful in her outfit.
It is a common belief among older generations that youth is wasted on the young. However, tell that to 14-year-old Monika Myers, a global celebrity due to her fashionable activism. Although her first runway appearance was when she was three, she debuted at Toronto’s Kids Fashion Week this spring and then attended New York Fashion Week later that month.
Monika has always had a soft place for clothes, but she says her modeling moment came when she was older. During a movie, she commented on how beautiful an actress was, and her mom, Steph, then asked her if she wanted to pursue more opportunities in the modeling industry. She replied with an enthusiastic “Yes.”
According to the model’s mother, Monika does not view having Down syndrome as a part of her identity. She is always very open about her sexuality and has no plans of changing who she is. In recent years, the fashion industry has started changing its negative image of people with disabilities. In 2020, for instance, a photo of model Elle Goldstein, who also had Down syndrome, went viral on Instagram and became the brand’s most-liked image.
She regards both Elle and her condition as role models. They inspire her and show that people with disabilities do not limit their potential to do what they love. She also says that everyone is beautiful regardless of their appearance.
Models such as Monika represent individuals with Down syndrome and people with other visible disabilities and differences. She believes that society has become more accepting of people with disabilities over time.
As a Gen Z groundbreaker, Monika is dedicated to continuing her modeling career and inspiring others like herself. She has also created a bracelet called “I am Brave & Beautiful,” a physical reminder of her passion. She says she will continue pursuing her dream as long as it takes.
Monika shows that people with disabilities and those with visible differences can still be beautiful. She also said that being surrounded by people with different abilities was crazy, but she did not feel scared because she was lovely.
In her Instagram post, the model said she was honored to be the first person with Down syndrome to appear in a fashion show. She also thanked her beloved family and friends for supporting her during her experience. She noted that although there were still negative stereotypes about people with disabilities, society had become more accepting of them.