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10-Month-Old Girl with Down Syndrome Will Be the Face of Designer’s Swimwear Ads

Illustration for article titled 10-Month-Old Girl with Down Syndrome Will Be the Face of Designer’s Swimwear Ads

A 10-month-old girl from Miami will be the face of an entire swimwear campaign from Spanish designer Dolores Cotrés, which is not only awesome for her, but also for the other models with Down syndrome currently making their way into national ad campaigns. Little Valentina Guerrero will be on the cover of Dolores Cortés' U.S. catalogue and star in the designer's 2013 DC Kids ads.


Earlier this year, a boy with Down syndrome was featured in a Target ad, which, since big-box stores emphasize their egalitarian, inclusive nature, wasn't necessarily a risky or bold choice. A high-end retailer or premiere designer had yet to take the same leap until Valentina, who will be the first person with Down syndrome to be the main model in a fashion campaign from a prestigious designer. In a statement about the decision to feature Valentina, Cortés said, "People with Down syndrome are just as beautiful and deserve the same opportunities. I'm thrilled to have Valentina modeling for us." It's all very smile-inducing and, though product-hawking campaigns are always transparent attempts to establish some consumer good-will, it's pretty easy to appreciate this step towards helping normalize, not just Down syndrome, but any difference that might ordinarily cause a person to be unfairly marginalized.


Miami Girl With Down Syndrome Is Face of Swimwear Ad Campain [AdWeek]

Image via AdWeek

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It's so sad that little Down's babies are still being born, when the genetic disorder can be detected so early in pregnancy. People with Down's are far more likely to suffer from conditions like holes in the heart, leukemia, terrible side-effects from cancer treatment (such as burns to much of the body), thyroid disorders, hearing impairment, eye problems, gastrointestinal disease and early dementia. A member of my close family has Down's - he suffered psychosis at a young age, lost his ability to communicate and has since been sexually abused (by another disabled person) and physically assualted. His non-verbal status makes him incredibly vulnerable. The problems caused by his extra chromosome are terrible.

Of course no-one should marginalize, exploit or harm a disabled individual -this happens far too often and it is disgusting. However, if it is clear from testing that a genetic abnormality means that a fetus will develop into a person who is far more likely to be exposed to great suffering, it is selfish to continue with the pregnancy. I hope this little girl is luckier than many other people with Down's.