Girl with Down Syndrome Wins International Beauty Pageant

Congratulations Kate Grant!

Kate Grant, 19, a teenage model from Northern Ireland, just became the first person with Down Syndrome to win a global beauty pageant. Grant competed against 40 other candidates from around the world to win the title of Teen Ultimate Beauty of the World in Portadown.

Her statement upon winning was that she wants other people with special needs to know that her victory is a sign that “true beauty is who you are, not what you look like. Kindness, compassion, and inner sparkle, that’s the ultimate beauty. If the judges saw that in me, then I’m happy,” Ms. Grant said.

Kate’s next project

Kate Grant’s next project will be fronting a toy drive for children at the Royal Victoria Hospital, located in Belfast. She has stated that now that her dream has come true, she wants to inspire and lead other young people with disabilities to achieve their own goals. Ms. Grant also will be participating in a number of photoshoots throughout the coming year, and she will be serving as a judge and mentor in next year’s finals.

Kate Grant, from her Facebook page

Kate’s perseverance

Kate Grant has been chasing this title since she began modeling at 13. She sent photographs to multiple agencies, but many of them rejected her, which she attributed to her Down syndrome. Ms. Grant never let this discourage her, however, and her mother shared a photo online of her daughter at prom with the question of whether it was unrealistic for Kate to want to be a model. The post was shared 26,000 times and was noticed by the pageant director, Taylor-Rae Hamilton, who immediately invited Kate Grant to participate in the event.

The Ultimate Beauty of the World pageant was created to celebrate diversity and is open to all applicants of any weight, height, etc. It has three age categories: children, teenagers, and 20+, and proceeds are donated to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation.



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Reuben Friedlander describes himself as “genius, attractive, and not particularly modest.” Reuben joined Different Brains in 2017. He enjoys video games, fantasy reading, hats, Dwarf Fortress, and writing silly humor. Reuben writes all kinds of articles for the website, while assisting with video editing and transcription.