Eleanor Manton may have found her career thanks to her lockdown experience.
Coronavirus has been useful in encouraging us to think differently and find solutions with what we have available to us. Thankfully, this has resulted in a more natural and refreshing outlook in many industries, and in particular the fashion industry.
With new clothing lines being manufactured for the coming fall/winter season, clothing companies have been having to source, and use, their models a little differently. One such clothing company is JoJo Maman Bébé, which caters to pregnant moms and young children.
While looking for the perfect model, scouts came across two-year-old Eleanor Manton from Leamington Spa in the UK on social media. Her mom, Helen, had posted a video of her daughter, who’d been thriving in lockdown with having both mom and dad around, walking for the first time unaided. The retailer reached out to Helen who shared with the BBC how she was left “jumping for joy.”
As normal professional photo shoots were off limits, the family was sent the clothes for Eleanor to model, and while her dad Craig became the “chief smile coordinator,” the toddler’s mom snapped some images on her iPhone. The company then used the delightful homespun images in their campaign with a write-up of who Eleanor is:
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Our New Autumn collection has arrived and for this season our customers took the camera! 📸 Find out more about one of our models Eleanor: "Eleanor is an excitable and loving 2 year old. She loves being outdoors and had so much fun while taking these photos for JoJo, especially when she got to throw leaves around. Eleanor has thrived during lockdown and started walking in the first few weeks. She mainly communicates with Makaton and is obsessed with Mr Tumble." @the_mantons
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“When I saw those campaign images I don’t think the phrase ‘bursting with pride’ cuts it,” Helen explained. “Just seeing her little beaming face, she’s just a ray of light, was incredible, it makes me really, really proud.”
And as for Eleanor, she seemed most content, exclaiming “That’s me!” when she saw the catalog in the flesh.
It’s wonderful to see children with Down syndrome represented in the media, and especially in an industry where people often feel pressure to be perfect. “I just want to raise awareness, that she is just like any other little girl and that having a child with Down syndrome is a positive thing, not a negative,” explained Helen.
To meet other people with Down syndrome who are changing perceptions and history, click on the slideshow below: