A woman with Down syndrome is the newest face of a skincare brand in the United States.
Grace Strobel is said to be the first model with Down syndrome to endorse a skincare brand in the country, according to Obagi last Oct. 1.
Grace will promote diversity as the ambassador of the brand’s Skinclusion campaign, which advocates diversity, and one of its cleansing gel products.
Grace’s modeling aspirations came in recent years, around the time she began delivering inspirational talks in response to a bullying episode in 2017, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported in a feature last March 2019.
While doing research for her presentations in schools, where she raises awareness on her condition and discusses overcoming obstacles, she learned of a model with Down syndrome and asked her mom, Linda, if she could be like her.
A photoshoot with a photographer was set and her photos went viral on Facebook. She has since been able to walk a runway and model for inclusive brand Alivia.
Her success has been with the help of her mom, who was told that a newborn Grace would not be able to read or write when she grew up. Linda refused to believe those limitations and ensured that her daughter went to schools that challenged her abilities. She also helps her in the hours of practice for her talks.
“I think people with disabilities sometimes feel invisible. I became a model and speaker to help people see the value in others,” said Grace of her new endorsement.
“Working with Obagi has been a dream come true because it gives me a voice. Through exposure, we can create change and break down barriers, fears and create understanding. It’s about making people with disabilities feel valued and included.” /ra
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