The ultimate beauty in the world is a teenager from North Ireland with Down’s Syndrome.
And 19-year-old Kate Grant has the crown to prove it.
She won pageant judges over and the title of Ultimate Beauty of the World in Portadown, Armagh earlier this year.
Those who enter the pageant represent their country in three age categories: junior, teen, and senior.
Kate won the top spot in the teen category for Northern Ireland.
Kate’s ultimate goal is to become a model. Kate gained national attention after discussing her dream of modeling on social media.
“At the time Kate had gone viral with a post on Facebook last October and she had been on the radio chatting about her ambitions to be a model and there was a lot of negative feedback because she has Down’s Syndrome,” Kate’s mom Deidre told Belfast Live. “A lot of doors were closed in her face, it was not positive.”
But Kate also ended up getting a lot of positive attention that overshadowed that negativity.
The pageant director ended up reaching out to Kate after she was in a BBC documentary called Role Model about her dream.
Before winning her current title, Kate modeled during Belfast Fashion Week.
“Kate had her wish come true last year as she modeled in Belfast,” Deirdre told Extra.ie.
“She was asked to take place in the pageant and because the proceeds of the pageant goes to Make a Wish Foundation she wanted to help another child’s wish come true. She enjoyed every minute and smiled from start to finish.”
One of the best parts about competing in the pageant was getting to make friends with the other contestants.
But the absolute best part was, of course, winning the crown.
“She has achieved so much not only in winning The Ultimate Beauty of the World international pageant but through modeling too,” Deirdre said.
“She’s the first girl with Down Syndrome in the world to win a beauty pageant and she is using this as a platform to raise awareness of inclusion for people with disabilities and special needs,” said Deidre. “This is her campaign. Kate is such a bubbly personality that it’s captivating and mesmerizing.”
Kate really wanted to do the pagaent so she could help other children with the funds she’s raised.
She even helped out some of the younger contestants.
“Kate has Down’s Syndrome but has such a big heart and she got to know the children taking part and would reassure them if they were nervous,” said Deirdre. “She put them at ease, she was there to calm them.”
Deidre said she never imagined that her daughter would achieve so much and win such a prestigious title.
“When they called third and second and then Kate’s name I almost hit the floor, I was so overwhelmed. They said Kate stole everyone’s heart, she was so outgoing and confident, she represented that pageant,” Deidre said.
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Kate was pretty surprised with her big win too, but she didn’t let it all go to her head.
“Kate stands for inclusion for people with disabilities. She is in seventh heaven now but she soon came down with a bump when she realized she still had to do her chores,” Deidre said. “She is going to keep pursuing it. She is breaking through barriers and the perception people have of people with disabilities.”
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