Model with Downs Syndrome at NY Fashion Week
Why it’s important to see different kinds of bodies celebrated in this way
My sister Vidya suffers from Lennox Gastaut syndrome. She’s developmentally challenged, has an IQ of 16 and requires high doses of anti-epileptics to keep her fits under control. She’s also a total cutie. I mean that in the most superficial sense of the word. She has big doe eyes, long lashes, thick hair, and long artistic fingers with tapered ends. When she smiles, her face splits open with friendliness. But you have to be able to see past all the paraphernalia—the wheelchair, the neck brace, the feeding tube—to see the sweetness. You have to be able to see past your pity.
American actor Jamie Brewer—you know her from American Horror Story—is the first person with Downs Syndrome to walk the ramp at New York Fashion Week and this is significant because when you see her on the ramp, you’re forced to really see her—not her condition, just her. Besides, how can you feel sorry for someone whose runway game is so on-point: