5 Fast Facts about model and advocate Monika Myers
“Isn’t life amazing?!”, asks Monika Myers who, at only 14 years old, is a trailblazer for inclusion. She was Canada’s first professional international runway model with Down syndrome. Within one year of walking her first runway, she has been in numerous shows including prestigious NYC, Toronto, Trinidad and Paris Fashion Weeks. She has captured the media’s attention and has been interviewed and featured in the news, magazines and publications all around the world.
Monika is proud to have broken that glass ceiling in the fashion industry, and is honoured to be an Advocate, Public Speaker and Down Syndrome Ambassador (Canada, USA, and International). She was honoured to be the 2023 key note speaker at the United Nations World Down Syndrome Day Conference, Trinidad & Tobago, to support inclusion in education and in the community.
She is a voice for diversity and inclusion not only for those with Down syndrome, but for all with visible and invisible differences.
Although Monika has Down syndrome, she has never allowed it to prevent her from doing things she loves- she simply views it as sometimes needing to work harder. She lives life to the fullest, is a high school student, competitive gold medalist synchronized swimmer, volunteer, Girl Guide, and has achieved the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Here’s 5 Fast Facts about Monika!
She encourages people to pursue their dreams, even in the face of disadvantages.
I believe that you can do whatever you like to do. You should be brave and believe in yourself and pursue your own dreams. If you want to model, just try it. I love fashion, makeup and beauty and really enjoy being immersed in it, so I am never afraid. You need to find what makes you happy and makes you feel good about yourself.
She likes to correct misconceptions about Down Syndrome so people understand it better.
Down Syndrome is something I was born with. It doesn’t make me who I am, it is simply just a part of who I am. I am sad when people think others with Down Syndrome or any disability can’t do things or don’t have other interests. I enjoy sports, shopping, music, dancing, and hanging with my friends just like any other teen. We all have different abilities for different things. Some things might take me longer, but other things I am really good at. It is important that we get to know others for who they are without labels. People are all different and yet we are all the same. It is our differences that make us interesting and unique.
What’s the best part about walking down a runway for you?
I love being a runway model. Walking on the runway makes me feel really strong, confident and beautiful. I enjoy wearing the outfits from the designers as they are always unique and different styles. Sometimes they are very fancy dresses and other times they are fun and casual. I also enjoy meeting all the other models and having my hair and makeup done. It is always very busy, and exciting backstage.
Tell me something people would be surprised to know about you?
People think that I am too busy modelling to do much else. However, I am very active outside modelling. I am a competitive synchronized swimmer and train a lot. I also love to ski, bike, run, volunteer, read and write songs. I am very busy!
What do you have coming up next/future projects/goals?
I just came back from modelling in Paris Fashion Week. That was my dream! Next I have more shows coming up in Toronto Fashion Week and then New York Fashion Week again in February. I really loved Paris, so I am hoping to do more shows there and hopefully Milan and London someday!