Benefit's New Campaign Stars A Model With Down Syndrome, Increasing Visibility For Those With Disabilities

by Stephanie Montes

When it comes to the beauty and fashion industry, consumers have rightfully demanded that products and campaigns be more inclusive of all people and all experiences — as they should! More and more fashion brands now boast extensive size ranges, and you'd be hard pressed to find a beauty brand that doesn't offer upwards of 30 to 40 shades of foundation in their line. But it seems we, as a society, often forget that inclusivity doesn't just mean size, shape, and color. However, Benefit Cosmetics Ireland's new Roller Liner campaign stars a model with down syndrome, hitting all of us with a major reminder that we can all work even harder to be more inclusive.

Benefit's campaign is currently being rolled out overseas to highlight the brand's new Roller Liner Eyeliner. And this particular campaign garnered the most attention, thanks to none other than Kate Grant, a 20-year-old model from Ireland who was born with down syndrome. The Irish beauty has consistently been making a name for herself in the modeling world in more ways than one, but this just might be her biggest break yet.

Just last year, Grant left a major mark on the beauty industry when she became the first model with down syndrome to take the crown in an international beauty pageant, namely the Teen Ultimate Beauty Of The World, in the United Kingdom, according to People. And now, with a major beauty brand gig under her belt, there's no doubt she will continue to become one of the year's most sought-after models.

Like most of us, Grant has some major goals for 2019, but just 14 days into the new year, there's no doubt she is pretty darn close to checking them off her list. She shared her top five goals on her Instagram with the caption, "Working on my goals and dreams today for 2019! 1. Model in @londonfashionweek & @parisfashionweek 2. Appear on @loosewomen 3. Appear as the cover girl on a magazine. 4. Continue to raise awareness for people with disabilities #differentisbeautiful 5. Attend @dwtsireire to see @clionahagan."

There isn't an ounce of doubt in my mind that she will knock these out before the year is up. Looking forward to seeing you on those runways, Kate!

While this is one seriously heartwarming beginning to Grant's continued success, it also sparks an even larger conversation regarding the depths of diversity. We should never stop demanding more shades and more sizes, but here's where we start requesting more glimpses into all walks of life.

Of course, that's not to say the fashion and beauty industry hasn't already started embracing people of different abilities. Recently, fashion brand ASOS teamed up with a female Paralympian in her 20s to develop a wheelchair-friendly jumpsuit in an effort to create a brand new genre of fashion. However, there's still a long way to go in terms of increasing that visibility. As the definition of inclusivity continues to evolve, hopefully even more brands like ASOS and Benefit will eventually follow suit. I, personally, can't wait for that to happen.