Adorable two-year-old Eleanor Manton, diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth, is a new model, after being spotted by children’s clothing brand JoJo Maman Bébé’s scouts on her family’s Instagram page.
“We saw Helen, Eleanor’s mum, had tagged us in some photos on her Instagram. Helen takes great pictures and Eleanor is beautiful so we got in touch to see if they would like to take part in the campaign,” JoJo Maman Bébé told The Sun.
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Eleanor Grace Manton born 17th April 2018 weighing 6lbs 14 oz. 2 weeks ago today I went into labour and then on Tuesday 17th we welcomed our gorgeous little girl. We all finally returned home from hospital this week and since then we’ve been settling in as a family. Eleanor spent her first 9 days on the Special Baby Care Unit at Warwick Hospital after being born with Down’s Syndrome, which came as a shock to us to say the least. DS babies have their own very complex needs and Eleanor needed various tests and monitoring before being allowed home. The last two weeks have been tough, emotionally and physically and I can’t thank the people we have around us enough. Our family and friends have been unbelievably supportive and I know they will continue to be in the future. All the staff we encountered at Warwick Hospital are incredible and this last week has been a real eye opener and this is just a tiny part as to what remarkable work the NHS do day to day. Eleanor is our very special feisty little lady and if you give her a challenge she will no doubt exceed it. Now let this incredible journey begin… #downsyndrome #teammanton #minimanton #wonderwoman #myworld #lifeisbetterwithyou #upsyndrome #babypictureoverload #babyspam #startshere #sorrynotsorry #channelmumvillage #bemoreeleanor
The company emailed Helen asking if Eleanor would be in the autumn/winter 2020 campaign and Helen said she was “ecstatic” and that she began “screaming and jumping for joy.”
“If children like Eleanor are seen in the fashion industry, it’s going to keep raising awareness,” she told the BBC, ” and when people see children like Eleanor it’s not a shock to them.”
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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
A couple of days later, clothing arrived for Eleanor. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her parents served as her photographers. Her photos will be featured in the upcoming catalog. Helen’s husband Craig reportedly acted as “chief smile co-ordinator” while Helen snapped photos. Eleanor recognizes herself in the photographs and proudly says, “That’s me!”
This isn’t the first time Eleanor has been in the spotlight. In May 2020, a video of her walking unaided for the first time was viewed thousands of times on Facebook as people around the world cheered her on.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the family has been staying home to shield Eleanor from the virus, and her mother said it has helped her to “really progress.” Her husband was furloughed so both of them have been home. “That’s the reason why Eleanor is progressing so much. She has interaction with us both all the time,” said Helen.
The family is looking forward to helping to raise awareness for Down syndrome and hoping that people begin to realize that Down syndrome is not something to be sorry or sad about. They hope other companies will follow JoJo Maman Bébé’s lead and become more inclusive.
“I just want to raise awareness, that she is just like any other little girl,” her mother explained, “and that having a child with Down syndrome is a positive thing, not a negative.”
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