A little girl who cannot WALK or TALK has seen her modelling career go from strength to strength after she was selected to star in a fashion shoot for a major supermarket.
Holly Greenhow, 9, has Athetoid Cerebral Palsy, which severely affects her movement, balance and speech, but amazingly she has now taken part in TWO modelling campaigns.
The pretty school girl, whose condition was caused by a prolonged loss of oxygen at birth, was picked to star in the latest modelling shoot for F&F children’s clothes at Tesco. Holly, who uses a wheelchair and communicates using a special computer system operated by her eyes, shone at the shoot and now features on the fashion pages of the Tesco website. She has previously done a photo shoot for fashion retailer Boden and mum Fiona hopes her growing success will help to change attitudes to disability.
“Holly really enjoyed the modelling shoot for F&F. She had her hair and make-up done and was given lots of attention,” said Fiona, from Hemingford Grey in Cambridgeshire. “There are so many activities she can’t take part in because of her disabilities, such as dancing, so this was a real treat for her. She loves clothes and choosing her own outfits so modelling is a great thing for Holly to do and I’m really pleased she has been given another opportunity.”
Holly, who has an older brother Oliver who is 11, was born with Athetoid Cerebral Palsy and although she understands everything, her movement, balance and speech are impaired. Despite her disabilities she attends main stream school, where she is doing well, and enjoys swimming, horse riding and wheelchair sports.
“She has really grown up in the last couple of years and is doing very well at school and becoming more independent,” added Fiona. “She is able to go out at break times with her friends now and they look after her instead of a teaching assistant, which is lovely. Academically she is also moving on, but because of her communication issues everything takes a little longer.”
Holly also had eye surgery last year to correct a squint, which means she now finds it easier to use the eye gaze computer system, which helps her communicate in a similar way to Professor Stephen Hawking.
“The eye surgery worked really well and she has a lot of her big teeth now, which have come through perfectly, so she has a beautiful smile,” said Fiona. “She is also on a special anti-Parkinsons drug which means she doesn’t dribble now, so in all ways she is really growing up.”
Holly has always enjoyed choosing her own clothes so Fiona thought she might like to try modelling and she did her first shoot for Boden in 2013. She enjoyed it so much that Fiona took her for further castings and she was picked for the Tesco campaign last autumn. Holly spent a day modelling with other children and appears on the Tesco website in a pretty pink top, pink heart leggings and brown boots.
“I wasn’t sure if the Boden job would be a one hit wonder so I’m thrilled that Holly has been given another opportunity to do some modelling,” added Fiona. “It also sends out a very positive message for other children with disabilities.”
Lucy Wheeler, head of multi-channel content at Tesco, said: “We were delighted to offer Holly the chance to appear on the F&F website. Holly really enjoyed the shoot and was a pleasure to work with throughout. We wish her all the best for the future.”
Richard Hawkes, CEO of disability charity Scope, said: “It’s great to see more and more household brands like Tesco using disabled models in their campaigns. Holly’s ongoing success shows that there is real appetite for diversity. We’ve also seen disabled models taking centre stage at New York Fashion Week – including Jack Eyers, who fronted our Strip for Scope campaign last year. There have been some positive recent breakthroughs, but there is still a long way to go. We want to get to a point where the media and marketing worlds better reflect the diverse society we live in.”