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26-year-old with Down syndrome breaks beauty barriers as 'Glamour' cover model

"I hope that we will become standard in the fashion & beauty industry. I see change, we are only at the beginning but we are heading [in] the right direction," she said in a statement.

26-year-old with Down syndrome breaks beauty barriers as 'Glamour' cover model
Cover Image Source: Instagram/downsyndrome_queen

Enya first ventured into the world of social media influencers about two years ago when her sister Céline noticed that the fashion and beauty community lacked something. While those reviewing new beauty products and showing off the latest in fashion are a dime a dozen on Instagram, Céline never saw anyone like her sister—someone who has Down syndrome—and realized that Enya could make a real difference. Enya loved the idea and the sister-duo got to work on the beauty-and-style account Downsyndrome_Queen. Fast-forward to today and the 26-year-old is much more than a social media influencer. She's Glamour magazine's newest cover star.

 



 

"I must be dreaming!!" reads a statement posted to Enya's Instagram account, which is managed by Céline. "I cannot describe in words how much this means to me. My first cover, but also the first major cover in the Netherlands with someone with Down's syndrome on it. Thank you Glamour for this opportunity, believing in me, and contributing to a more diverse/inclusive world. You are an example to many and I hope many will follow. Let this not be a one-off fun thing for other companies, but rather a doorway that leads to many possibilities for other brands, magazines, etc."

 



 

"I hope that we will become standard in the fashion & beauty industry. I see change, we are only at the beginning but we are heading [in] the right direction. We all can make the change, we all have to contribute," the statement continues. "I am grateful for the amazing days I had with the fantastic team of glamour! Big kiss, love!!" This isn't the first time Glamour has featured a model with Down Syndrome on its cover. Last year, 18-year-old Ellie Goldstein graced the magazine's September fashion digital issue which celebrated the "changing face of fashion."

 



 

According to Elle, Enya is first and foremost a dancer. "Enya gets up and goes to sleep with a dancing body. Her dancing is more than a hobby, she has been doing it since she was twelve," the publication reported. She has come a long way since her initial days as a social media influencer—when it was all "let's see how long we can keep this up and whether people like it"—and has over 70k followers on Instagram now. Major brands of the likes of Chanel, Dior, and Charlotte Tilbury send her their products which she reviews for her fans with entertaining make-up tutorials. 

 



 

In an interview with Vogue last month, Enya spoke about society's biggest misconceptions about people with Down Syndrome and why everyone's differences should be celebrated. "From birth, I've been pigeonholed by the outside world," she said. "Of course, you have people who look at you and treat you differently, but on the other hand, it has also brought a lot of good things and people. For example, with my Instagram account, I try to make people understand me for who I am and that there is no need to think in boxes. I want to show them that I have a nice life, that I can do (almost) everything, and that I have a future with dreams."

 



 

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