Baby Supermodel Defies Down Syndrome Limitations

cameraTaya Kennedy is rocking the modeling world. The 14-month-old's mother submitted her pictures to a top British modeling agency, and soon after she got a call saying they liked what they saw. A photo shoot followed, and Taya has since been lining up the gigs as advertisers are drawn to her bright smile and natural chemistry with the camera.

It's your typical baby modeling story, only Taya isn't typical -- she was born with Down syndrome. The agency says that, however, has nothing to do with why they or advertisers love her; her mother says it has nothing to do with what she will accomplish in life. It's an inspirational story all around.


Alysia Lewis, owner of the agency that signed Taya, told the Daily Mail:

That she has Down’s Syndrome did not enter the equation. We chose her because of her vibrancy and sense of fun. Not all children are comfortable in front of a lens and with a photographer looking at them — especially when they are so young. But Taya was so relaxed and happy. She was just what we were looking for.

When you look at the gorgeous pictures of Taya, you see nothing but a beautiful child. Any limitations that she may face are nowhere evident, and she's such an amazing reminder of the beauty -- both internal and external -- in faces that many deem tragic.

Her mother, Gemma Andre, told the paper that people often feel sorry for her when they learn Taya has Down syndrome, but she sees her daughter as a gift. She said at birth, she was given a list of all the things Taya wouldn't be able to do and delays she would encounter. One by one though Taya is busting through them all and appears to show no sign of slowing down. 

I love this story for so many reasons, but one is that because, big or small, all children face challenges and limitations in life. We hope and pray for them to be perfect or "normal," but just because they aren't by medical definitions doesn't mean they aren't in other ways. And really, no matter what challenges they face, the best thing we can do as parents and as citizens is to focus on what they can do instead of what they can't do and accept them. As Andre said:

With Taya you get the whole package: she has her difficulties, but she is clever, strong, and she laughs all the time. She has such an expressive little face. People say, "Don’t you wish she was a normal child?" but without her disability she wouldn’t be Taya, so we wouldn’t change anything about her.

I hope to see her on the cover of Vogue one day.

Does Taya's story inspire you? What challenges have your children overcome that others never thought they would?

Image via BigTallGuy/Flickr

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