Meet the Model Who's Breaking Down Barriers with a Beauty Campaign

Why you should know Katie Meade, the face of Beauty & Pin-Ups.

Katie Meade
(Image credit: Beauty & Pin-Ups)

To land a beauty campaign as a model is no easy feat. But to become the first model with Down syndrome to be the face of a major beauty company is a big freakin' deal. It's all in a days work for Katie Meade, 32, who is not only the face of Beauty & Pin-Ups, but also has competed in the Special Olympics and is a Best Buddies International Global Ambassador (with her good friend, Tom Brady. And yeah, that Tom Brady). We sat down with Meade to discuss her beauty mantra, her appearance on Global Beauty Masters, and what other barriers she'll break in the future. 

Marie Claire: You've done so many amazing things in your life. How did you get to where you are today?

Katie Meade: Thank you! I'm very proud, so are my family and friends. I want to live a brave life, and use my abilities to chase my dreams and I've met a lot of great people along the way. Tom Brady is one of them. I met him through Best Buddies International, and love how he lives such a brave life, too.

MC: What does your role as the first woman with Down syndrome to be feature as a spokesperson for a beauty campaign mean to you?

KM: This role is an honor to me. I met Beauty & Pin-Ups through Best Buddies International, and worked with them on events in different cities. When they asked me to be the face of Fearless Hair Rescue Treatment, I was so proud. I want to show the world that no matter what, beauty belongs to everybody. I love that the product makes my hair feel soft, and really good.

MC: What is your beauty mantra?

KM: My mantra is "When you look good, you feel good!"

MC: When do you feel the most beautiful?

KM: I love to spend time with my family and friends, and with my dog, Buddy. But I also love getting dressed up and getting my hair and makeup done. The photo shoot with Beauty & Pin-Ups made me feel like a model, and I felt really beautiful then. Now, when I look at the package, I feel beautiful all over again. 

MC: What can we expect from your appearance on Global Beauty Masters?

KM: I get to work with Kenny Kahn [Beauty & Pin-Ups CEO] and introduce the challenge. It was amazing to see these people create such cool looks!

MC: When was the first time you saw yourself on TV or in movies?

KM: I've seen myself on the news, and will see myself on Global Beauty Masters this week!

MC: Who is your role model?

KM: J.Lo! I love her. I love her clothes, and her makeup. I love her on American Idol. She is beautiful and very kind.

MC: What other barriers do you hope to break down for people with disabilities?

KM: I want to show everyone that I have abilities, and not a disability. I can do anything if I chase my dreams hard enough, and so can others.

MC: What do you want your legacy to be?

KM: I want people to know that I broke barriers. That just because people see me having a disability, doesn't mean I can't do things that everyone else can. I want people to see Fearless Hair Rescue Treatment and be proud of what I did.

MC: What's next for you?

KM: I'll be traveling with Beauty & Pin-Ups for more trade shows, where I'll present on stage and work at their booth. And I now have a nephew! My older sister had a baby boy named Jack this week, and I want to be a great aunt to him. They live in Maine, so I don't see them too often, but we text all the time as a family and I get to see photos and videos of him. He's so cute!

Watch Katie Meade in action on the next episode of "Global Beauty Masters," airing on TLC this Monday, April 18th and Tuesday, April 19th both at 11 a.m. EST/PST. 

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Maggie Maloney

Maggie Maloney is the associate editor at Town & Country and ELLE Decor, where she covers style, beauty, jewelry, and the many members of the royal family. She also manages social media and content strategy for both brands.