Jamie Brewer has already accomplished an incredible feat for an average 30 year-old woman; she became a well-known prime time television actress on the acclaimed series American Horror Story. What makes Jamie even more special is that she is living with Down syndrome. The achievement of acting on network television isn’t a milestone because Brewer has Down syndrome, but rather because media and culture are finally beginning to embrace these individuals as the unique, independent, and talented people they are.
Brewer continues to make strides for Down syndrome awareness off the TV stage. This week, she was the first ever woman with Down syndrome to walk the runway at New York Fashion Week. The achievement was made possible by designer Carrie Hammer, who chose to feature real women – including many philanthropists and corporate executives – as her runway models. “[Jamies]’s an incredible role model for many, many people,” said Hammer.
The break from traditional skin-and-bones runway models is refreshing, and Brewer felt the exhilaration when she beamed onto the catwalk. ABC News captured the event:
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Brewer’s résumé hardly reflects the mold that culture typically sees individuals with Down syndrome filling. In addition to acting and modeling, Brewer writes, creates art, and is involved in government and activism. According to ABC, at just nineteen, Brewer was elected to the State of Texas ARC Board, which is dedicated to ensuring opportunities and active participation in the community for individuals with intellectual challenges. Brewer has also worked with the Government Affairs Committee in Texas.
Carrie Hammer perfectly encapsulated Brewer when she said that the actress is an accomplished young woman who just happens to have Down syndrome.