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Model Hopes To Be The First Woman With Down Syndrome Featured In Sports Illustrated

Brittany Rae

The modeling industry is changing rapidly. New, diverse faces are coming onto the scene, giving all people the representation they've never had before.

Take model Mikayla Holmgren for example. She's one of the few models with Down Syndrome storming the fashion world, and she's having the time of her life while she changes the face of modeling.

You may not have heard of Mikayla yet, but she is someone to watch out for.

Not only is she the first model with Down syndrome to run in a Miss USA (she ran in 2017), she's a trailblazer. She's currently running a campaign to be the first Sports Illustrated swim model with Down syndrome!

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She is constantly striving to have people with developmental disabilities included at the table.

About one in 700 people in the U.S. are born with Down syndrome each year. With numbers like that, Mikayla is working hard to see people like her more accurately represented in media.

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She wants to hype people like her up as much as possible.

"We tell all our people who have special needs or Down syndrome, go ahead and do it," she told People. "Just follow your dreams and then do things."

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With that in mind, she decided to submit herself for Sports Illustrated's model search.

Each year, Sports Illustrated puts out a model search for their swimsuit issue. For 2021, models were asked to send in pictures and videos explaining why they should be chosen.

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Mikyala's was all about representation!

"SI Swim has been such a champion of the diversity of beauty," she said in her submitted video. "Now is the time to include someone like me."

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She has an impressive resumé to back herself up.

"I am a dancer, model, public speaker, and college graduate. I am the first woman with Down syndrome to compete in a Miss USA State Pageant."

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She had a killer finish.

"I rocked my bathing suit on stage. Now is time to rock the magazine.

All women deserve to be celebrated. We need awareness for those with special needs."

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She isn't too worried about if she wins or not.

She's just happy to be able to put herself out there and be a champion for people with Down syndrome.

However, let's try and make this happen for her, shall we?

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You can view her whole entry here.

And, more importantly, you can vote for her to appear in Sports Illustrated! Head over and check out her video, click that like, and let's help her dreams come true!

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