The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8, is #ChooseToChallenge, and this statement pretty much sums up Ellie Goldstein’s career as a model.
The 19-year-old’s CV reads like that of someone twice her age: Goldstein has appeared on the covers of top magazines including Allure, Glamour and Elle Mexico, as well as fronting a Gucci Beauty campaign.
Goldstein was born with Down’s syndrome and is keen to talk about her experiences; fashion gives her a platform to do so. “I want people to know about me – you never know who might need to hear your story,” she explains. “Someone could be going through the exact same thing somewhere else in the world, and hearing my story might help them feel better and make them realise they’re not alone.”
This IWD, Goldstein wants to encourage all women to share their stories. “I think it’s so important for women to feel connected and celebrate each other’s achievements, especially at a time like this when we can all feel a bit isolated and in need of support,” she says with passion. “It’s a great way to inspire women all over the world to fulfil their potential and realise they’re not alone in their everyday struggles.”
Goldstein has partnered with Avon for IWD, and the beauty brand has been looking into the impact the pandemic has had on women. The statistics are startling: Avon’s research suggests 92% of women globally have felt increased pressure due to the pandemic. “The pandemic has led to increased feelings of doubt among women across the world,” says Goldstein.
From a personal point of view, Goldstein has found the various lockdowns tough because she’s a naturally sociable person. “I really missed my friends, going shopping and eating out at restaurants,” she says, but “spending lots of time with my family has helped me through”.
When she’s struggling, Goldstein finds joy in her two favourite things: modelling and dancing. These activities “always help boost my confidence and make me feel happy”, she explains. “They are my passion in life.” Her excitement at being able to go back to college soon is palpable, where she will be studying performing arts.
In the meantime, Goldstein is keen to celebrate two women who have had a huge impact on her life: her mother and sister. She says: “My mum has brought me up to be Ellie; not a girl with a disability, and my sister has guided me with beauty advice.”
Ultimately, Goldstein says: “Women should always celebrate each other and lift each other up, it’s so important to have a day to recognise how amazing we all are.”
For IWD, Ellie has partnered with Avon to launch a global story and image gallery to connect women around the world. Find out more at watchmenow.avon.com.