Beautiful Taya, Born With Down’s, Becomes New Child Model Star

At 14 months old Taya Kennedy has all the qualities that a modelling agent looks for in a child model…

Disabled Models Direct model Gregg Baxter
Disabled Models Direct model Gregg Baxter

At 14 months old Taya Kennedy has all the qualities that a modelling agent looks for in a child model. She is confident, warm, happy and an all round natural performer – so comfortable in front of the camera in fact, that it seems she was born to be photographed.

The fact that this pretty young star has Down’s Syndrome has had no impact on her being snapped up by a UK modelling agency, they simply had to have the smiley and endearing little girl on their books, and we can see why. Bright-eyed Taya has a beautiful skin-tone and looks to be very photogenic in pictures that were featured in the Daily Mail earlier in the week.

The owner of the agency that signed her is quoted as saying: “We only open our books twice a year and select just a few new children each season. Taya is one of 50 children we chose from 2,000 applicants.

“That she has Down’s Syndrome did not enter the equation. We chose her because of her vibrancy and sense of fun. Not all children are comfortable in front of a lens and with a photographer looking at them — especially when they are so young. But Taya was so relaxed and happy. She was just what we were looking for.”

According to the Daily Mail report Taya is now in demand from retailers such as Mothercare and the Early Learning Centre, both of whom would love to feature the cute young model in advertising campaigns.

Proud mum Gemma told journalist Frances Hardy how she applied to the agency for Taya to be a model: “I decided to send a couple of pictures I’d taken on my iPhone. There was an application form to fill in, too. No one asked the question, ‘Is your child disabled?’ So I didn’t mention it. Soon afterwards, I got a call from a woman at the agency who said: ‘We loved your pictures. Could you come to Manchester with your daughter for a photo shoot?’

“I thought we had nothing to lose. Mum said, ‘You should tell them Taya has Down’s’, but I decided not to. I didn’t want her to be chosen as the token disabled child. If she was going to be picked, then it had to be on her own merit.”

Gemma believes that Taya has it all despite her disabilities and, of course, she and partner Robbie Kennedy wouldn’t change a thing: “With Taya you get the whole package” She said. “She has her difficulties, but she is clever, strong and she laughs all the time. She has such an expressive little face. People say, ‘Don’t you wish she was a normal child?’ but without her disability she wouldn’t be Taya, so we wouldn’t change anything about her.”

As an inclusive modelling agency Models Direct is delighted to see another agency reflecting our ideals. Our model Gregg Baxter (shown above) also has a disability which hasn’t held him back from modelling either, having recently featured in a library shoot for a local County Council campaign.

His mum Dawn told us that he thoroughly enjoyed his day: “Wow, what and afternoon! he said he loved all of it and can’t wait to do it again. The photographer and organiser put him at ease straight away. There was no stress, no undue instructions and the other models were very friendly.”