The model with Down Syndrome sharing her sparkle in the spotlight
Glimmers of dancing light bathe the room as Shumeez Scott walks in. The sparkles may be a reflection of her sequinned dress, but it’s the woman herself that leaves onlookers in awe. This is the effect Scott has, both on the runway and among the people who know her. Scott is a professional model. She also has Down Syndrome. In every aspect of her identity, the 19-year-old glows with pride. “I changed the face of beauty in South Africa,” Scott says. But that was only the beginning of her mission. Now, Scott uses her success to help people like her achieve their dreams.
From an early age, Scott had a penchant for taking centre stage. At a photoshoot for her elder sister, Scott’s grace and elegance stood out. At the suggestion that she also strike a pose, Scott proved her effortless talent. Charmed by her personality, the photographer submitted her pictures to National Miss Down Syndrome Ribbons4Roses in 2017. This led to Scott’s first pageant win. Soon after, she took her place in the world of glamour. As her reputation grew, Scott’s family and friends never left her side. “They support my modelling,” she says. “They all shout and say, ‘Shumeez!’”
Scott has gone on to claim the title of Miss Magnificent Women International. She’s also won a lifetime contract with ACE Models – a feat most models can only dream of. But her greatest work yet is the Shumeez Scott Foundation. The organisation works to support, empower, and encourage people with learning disabilities. “My extra chromosome makes me an extraordinary model,” Scott says. Like her, everyone can celebrate what makes them exceptional.