Ellie Goldstein broke the internet when Gucci cast her for its groundbreaking beauty campaign in July 2020. She made history as the first person with Down’s syndrome to model for a major fashion house.
For the longest time, when you’d think of the fashion and beauty industry, you didn’t think of inclusivity and representation. It wasn’t like that for all spectrums of color until recently, and it certainly wasn’t like that for people with disabilities. When the Gucci campaign went up, people started to realize, why not? It’s about time!
She has since worked with Nike and Vodaphone and posed as cover girl for Elle and Allure. Now, in these photos for Avon’s My Story Matters’ campaign, working a bright red lip and fresh skin, Ellie continues to be trailblazing.
Modeling has completely changed my life. I have shown the world my disability and that it will never stop me.
“Modeling has completely changed my life. I have shown the world my disability and that it will never stop me. I’m so proud of all the work I’ve done and will hopefully continue to do,” the 19-year-old British model tells YStyle. “I love being a woman in society and the world.”
Just in time for women’s month, Ellie fronts the My Story Matters campaign to celebrate all women. It is a platform for women to share their stories of triumphs and trials online to inspire and encourage other women. To celebrate every story shared, the Avon Foundation for Women will donate $1 to charities that support women, hoping to round up stories for a $1 million donation.
She has been reading the stories so far. “It makes you realize that no matter how far apart you are, you might have very similar experiences to other women across the world! It is so important for women to come together and connect with each other, and the gallery is an amazing opportunity to do that,” she says.
Ellie gets the ball rolling with the 10 things she wishes she could tell her past and future self — and hopes they will inspire others, too.
1. “I would tell my past self to keep going and never give up on my dreams of becoming a famous model.” (Around her 15th birthday, Ellie’s mother Yvonne connected her with Zebedee Management, a new talent agency that represented people with visible differences and disabilities, and they soon signed her up.)
2. “I would remind myself that I can achieve anything, and no one can tell me otherwise.”
3. “I would tell myself how important it is to enjoy school and do my best.
4. “I would tell myself to keep dancing.” (Ellie has been dancing since she was five, and appeared in productions at the Royal Opera House and Royal Albert Hall.)
5. “Keep inspiring people and prove to the doctors that I will do well!”
6. “I would also tell myself to try acting as that has always been a dream of mine.”
7. “I would like to tell my future self to keep being positive, confident, funny and happy.”
8. “Keep following my dreams.”
9. “Stay ambitious.”
10. “I would tell myself to never stop inspiring others and keep showing people that having a disability does not stop you. Be yourself and keep living life to the full!”