She poses in the fashion bible Vogue and steals the show on red carpets. And even though she has been in the industry for less than two years. Nothing seems impossible for 23-year-old model Beth Matthews, born with Down syndrome. Now she makes her catwalk debut at London Fashion Week. “I want to show that I can live a great and full life.”
LOOK. This is how Beth Matthews walked the catwalk during London Fashion Week:
1 in 1,400 children in Belgium is born with Down syndrome, according to the latest figures from the University Hospital Antwerp. A condition with a lower life expectancy that entails many limitations, is the stereotype. Nothing could be further from the truth, as model Beth Matthews (23) from Wales proves.
She walked her very first fashion show for the clothing brand Goose Island last Friday during London Fashion Week, one of the biggest fashion events worldwide. “A very memorable moment that I was really looking forward to,” says Beth.
Previously, the twenty-something from Wales also posed for Cosmopolitan Bulgaria and even starred in the Italian version of the biggest fashion magazine of all time: Vogue. But the biggest highlight of her modeling career so far has been the trip to Italy, Beth said in an interview with the British BBC. She appeared on the red carpet of the Venice Film Festival at the beginning of this month.
Modeling for less than two years and immediately with a lot of ambition: “I want to change the fashion world”
And all this barely a year and a half after she signed a contract with the inclusive modeling agency Zebedee management. The same agency that represents model Ellie Goldstein (21), also with Down syndrome. Ellie has already starred in campaigns for Gucci and Nike, and was the very first model with the syndrome on the cover of Vogue.
It is therefore not without reason that she is Beth’s greatest source of inspiration. “Since I signed the contract as a model I also feel more special and a lot more confident,” Beth Matthews told BBC.
Her life is no different than most people’s.
Fiona Matthews, Mother of Beth
The young woman hopes that this will give people a different view of someone with Down syndrome. Because even though Beth works just as hard as other models and gets paid the same, there are still a lot of indignant looks and comments like “oh, cute” at photo shoots.
“I want to change the fashion world and make a little more room for people who are different like me,” says Beth. “I want to show that I can still lead a wonderful and full life.”
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“Her life is no different to most people, despite the fact that we were given a very negative medical prognosis when Beth was born,” added mum Fiona Matthews. “So it is time for us to stop this message,” she emphasizes.
Beth and her mother know that this will not happen overnight, but they are extremely optimistic. “Everyone has the right to a beautiful life, no one deserves this more or less,” mother Fiona tells the BBC. That is why she is very proud of her daughter Beth’s work. “When I see what an example and inspiration she is for other children with the syndrome, it gives me goosebumps.”
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