It's good to have role models. In modern times, the majority idolize celebrities and celebrity culture. Often the personal lives of these big names render them far from the ideal idol. In a deviation from stories of drunken arrests and celeb mishaps, the real life of Jamie Brewer is so heartening, her life story would make a good Hollywood film in itself.
You'll know Jamie if you're a fan of American Horror Story - she's appeared in the first, third and fourth season. But even if you're your not familiar with her work, you're sure to be uplifted by her work away from the screen.
Many stars do charitable work, and that in itself is admirable. However, when it comes to the inspiration stakes, Jamie is leading the way. It's hard to believe she only has 24 hours each day like the rest of us.
Not only is she a great actress, she's also a strong advocate for disabled rights, a fashion idol, and a kick ass legislation changer.
After finding out just how amazing she is, I think she's become my number one idol. Here are three reasons that make her top of the list:
1. She persuaded Government to stop using the word "retarded" in state legislation
Yep, she actually persuaded the state of Texas to remove the use of the outdated and, quite frankly, offensive word from legal statute. Why it was still being used is one question, but Jamie had the strength to raise this as a concern, and see the change go through.
This means that because of her, the state have now changed all usage of the word to "intellectually disabled".
This happened while she was acting on a Governmental Affairs Committee for the State, which she happens to do in her spare time while she's not scaring the shit out of people on American Horror Story, or advocating equal rights for those with disabilities. Pretty impressive, hey?!
Not only did she manage to stop the use of the word, she also raised awareness and helped improved rights for disabled people. Good work!
2. She actively campaigns for numerous organisations on behalf of Down Syndrome sufferers
Jamie is leading the way as a role model for those with Down Syndrome. Not only does she do this by leading the way with a successful, prominent career in the public eye, but she also campaigns avidly on behalf of those with disabilities.
She says being a role model is just as important to her as her career as an actress.
"The biggest thing is advocacy. You can really step up and say, 'Hey, this is who I am. I have these great talents,' and I want to be able to show that."
In a bid to continue to raise awareness, she's a member of numerous non-profit organizations, including National Down Syndrome Congress and the American Association of People With Disabilities.
3. She became the first person with Down Syndrome to walk at the New York Fashion Week
Let's not underestimate just how incredible this is. We live in a world where we are told beauty is skin deep, and that the people we idolize should be drop dead gorgeous. Fashion is a ruthless industry where success and failure is measured on physical appearance.
Walking at the show 'Role Models not Runway Models' in February this year, the 30-year-old stuck two fingers up to the status quo and completely owned the runway. Speaking of the event, she said:
"It's amazing that the fashion industry are including individuals with disabilities. It's an amazing opportunity for women, and women who are disabled."
By shattering preconceptions of what beauty is, Jamie's appearance is not only an inspiration to those suffering from disabilities, but for all of us. She often expresses her belief that beauty comes from within, and I can only say I agree with her wholeheartedly.