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An unconventional Spanish model shares the secrets of her success

MARIAN AVILA
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Marian Avila is a model with Down syndrome and has walked the runway during NYC Fashion Week

One of the main themes in Marian Avila’s story is hard work. It has taken immense effort to achieve her dream of becoming a great model. This young woman, who at the age of 21 has managed to walk the runway during Fashion Week in New York City, is an example to everyone who has dreams.

How did Avila achieve her goal? First, she has been able to rely on the unconditional support of her family. Also, she’s shown a firm determination to give herself to others, overcome her fears, strengthen her self-confidence, and get up whenever she falls. She’s done what it takes to embrace the lifestyle in order to be committed to her profession.

My family gives me a lot of priority, and has supported me at all times. They want only the best for me!

Marian has been able to reach her goals thanks to the unconditional support of her family. Starting when she was very young, they gave her the motivation, confidence, and love she needed — essential elements that helped her face the challenge of becoming a model.

In various interviews, she has said that she receives much affection from her family. “They are the ones who’ve helped me the most, since the beginning, to grow as a person,” she said. Whenever she talks about this, she gets emotional. Her family is there to give her whatever she needs, in good times and in bad.

I have my fears, but I’m overcoming them. I am the way I am.

Marian is opening up an inclusive space in a landscape where it was impossible to show the beauty that all of us have in different ways. Fashion designer Talisha White, for whom Marian modeled during Fashion Week, made the effort to choose models who aren’t exactly what the fashion industry usually dictates.

Talisha believes that beauty comes from inside, and that women like Marian are changing the world, because not only are they revealing what beauty truly is, they’re doing what they want to, “that’s a very big difference, because it shows that it really is possible.”

If you fall, get up. Visualize your achievements, beginning with what’s most important.

Marian had a dream: to break all the barriers imposed by Down syndrome, and to make the fashion runway her way of life. Marian, who is originally from Valencia, shares her experiences on social networks, showing how each day she fixes her gaze on the goal. For her, the important thing is not to lose focus, and never to stop dreaming, because “dreams can become reality.”

Happiness is working in what you love most.

Walking the runway has been her dream since she was small. When she arrived in Madrid, she took several courses on professional modeling, and after participating in various fashion shows, she got her big break when an American model discovered her, and saw that she’d already done a great deal of hard work.

For Marian, it’s important that we pay attention to our calling, as difficult as it may seem; we need to persevere in pursuing what we love, because that will make us happy. “When I saw the videos of my First Communion, I decided that I wanted to be a model, actress, and singer.”

If we don’t know how to look inside ourselves and listen to ourselves, so we can know ourselves and love ourselves, we won’t be able to take advantage of all that we are. “I like myself the way I am. I’m a happy, joyful, affectionate, kind person, and I’m patient with everybody.”

Life is an adventure, and changes are for the good.

Marian is always ready. She takes her profession as a model very seriously, and embraces the necessary lifestyle changes in order to grow each day and achieve the harmony in her body and her soul that she wants to transmit.

She prepares herself physically by doing exercise in the pool or with a personal trainer. “I take very good care of myself. I wash my face every day with special soap, and I put on my skin creams.” She also follows a very healthy diet to keep herself strong.

Marian’s quotes taken from interviews in El Mundo, El Tiempo, and Vanguardia

Read more: Why we should welcome children with Down Syndrome

Read more: Meet an international supermodel with Down syndrome

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