Behind every pretty princess and her ball gown is a story of courage and overcoming obstacles. Mandy Pursley, aka the Cinderella of our story, is no different. Growing up as an amputee, there were few role models to look up to who were like her. She eventually became her own hero.
Inspired by her daughter’s school studies about fairytales, Pursley decided it was time to tweak the story to include a princess like herself. She used her advanced sewing know-how to create a fantastic Cinderella ball gown, then sought out master artist Gilbert Lozano to create the glass arm that would turn this classic into a whole new fairytale.
With the help of photographer Kelly Anderson, and her husband ”Prince” Ryan, Pursley was able to create a photo collection that tells the story of Cinderella finding true love at the ball, only this time it’s her glass arm that gets left behind! Creative and beautiful artwork aside, this story opens up a realm of possibilities for little girls just like Mandy who’ve never seen a princess just like them before. But princesses come in all shapes and sizes!
Pursley posted the pictures to Facebook and they went on to be shared over 24 thousand times! Since then, she has started a new Facebook page called Be the Spark Cosplay so that she can share her work with the entire world. When asked about the experience, she told Insider ”My favorite part has been hearing from the parents of children with ‘lucky fins’ like mine, who shared how excited their kids were to finally see a princess who looked like them… [this project] shows that beauty is so much deeper than physical perfection.”.
Cinderella continues to inspire children, both young and old, around the world with her touching courage. This new version of the story only makes her seem more beautiful and heartening. Because a true Disney fairytale is all about making dreams come true.
Photos courtesy of Mandy Pursley
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