Bristol

World Down's Syndrome Day: Model reveals beauty project pride

Nino Genua Image copyright Zebedee Management
Image caption Nino Genua said being a model was important for his independent future

A model with Down's syndrome (DS) will feature in a new book aiming to redefine definitions of beauty.

Nino Genua, from Warmley in South Gloucestershire, is part of the Radical Beauty Project which stylises models with DS as "objects of desire, beauty and worth".

More than 40 renowned fashion and art photographers have been working on the project.

The 19-year-old said being a model made him "feel proud and confident".

Speaking on the eve of World Down's Syndrome Day, he said being a model made him "confident and is important for my life, my future, to be independent".

"I'm a model, a sports coach, a goalkeeper, a swimmer, I'm me. That's it," said Nino, who has been modelling for 18 months.

"The project makes me so proud."

Image copyright Zebedee Management
Image caption The Radical Beauty Project aims to redefine definitions of beauty

His mother Sharon added the project was "all about inclusion".

"It gives everybody a chance to give it a go and shows how beautiful everyone is in their own right," she added.

'Pioneers'

Nino - who won a parliamentary award in 2016 for his voluntary rugby coaching with Bristol Bears and is a special Olympics swimmer - is represented by Zebedee Management.

A spokeswoman said: "We're still finding some of our models experiencing challenges in applying for work, for example, no ramps or lifts at castings, leaving wheelchair users excluded - things really needs to change.

"The industry is slowly changing for the better but there's a very long way to go before we live in a fully inclusive world.

"Times are changing, beauty is being redefined and those that lead the way will be remembered as pioneers."

World Down's Syndrome Day takes place on 21 March.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites