Thursday, October 1, 2015

Amazing Girls of Color

[TRIGGER WARNING: ABLEISM, BULLYING]

Been too long since I've done one of these. This one is especially amazing because the girl in question is a black girl with Down syndrome. She became a model.

Teen With Down Syndrome Brushes Off Bullying and Breaks Into Modeling

A lot of the people I know, including myself, find the idea of bullying someone with Down syndrome to be utterly despicable. We couldn't imagine anyone being heartless enough to tear down people who are already so disadvantaged in an ableist society. But individuals with Down syndrome and similar conditions do face disproportionate amounts and levels of bullying.

Part of this can be blamed on the lack of representation of people with Down syndrome. One black teen girl, Gigi Cunningham, is working to solve this problem herself by modeling.

Image courtesy of Erica Butler/Majestic Time Photography

This 17-year-old is beautiful and talented. Because she learns differently and had different challenges than most, she's viewed as incapable. Because her face looks different than most, she was called ugly as a child. Now she's showing up everyone by modeling. Fucking awesome.

One troll posted a comment or sent me an email or maybe a tweet, I don't even remember, but I do remember that he tried to insult me by saying I look like I have Down syndrome. My first reaction was to be appalled at how incredibly ableist and heartless it is to use people with Down syndrome as an insult. But maybe I just should have said "thanks."

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