Most little girls dream of being a princess. Some of them wear a tiara and play make-believe while watching a fairy tale on TV. Others would dress up as their favorite Princess character and join a costume party. Older women in their teens and early adult ages prefer to play princesses in cosplays, a trend very popular in this era.
Mandy Pursley was born a below-elbow right arm amputee and has a passion for acting and voice acting. She lives in the San Diego/Los Angeles, California area. Since she was a child, this optimistic woman has embraced her disability and pursued her love for acting. Although, she has admitted that she almost lost confidence in herself due to her disability and was nearly depressed.
One day, she read the fairy tale “Cinderella” with her daughter. This gave her an idea of how she can portray the princess, though in a different way. Fortunately, she can make her own costumes and make a Cinderella dress with a glass prosthetic arm.
“I have never seen amputee women portrayed as normal, beautiful, or strong,” Mandy said. “When I was growing up with a physical difference, I never saw girls like myself represented in the media. It took me a long time to realize that what makes us different can also be the thing that makes us strong, beautiful, and unapologetically unique.”
Mandy took some photos of herself in her costume and posted them on her Instagram page. The photos instantly went viral in a short amount of time. A friend asked her if she could show some photos to a little girl who was born with one arm, and Mandy did not hesitate. Lately, Mandy enjoys doing shows with her friends in Be the Spark Cosplay.
Mandy is a role model to her daughter. She enlightens her by mentioning that disabilities are “beauties in disguise” and that every person has their own unique gift. Hence, while waiting for next year’s Comic-Con, she posted photos of herself on her IG page wearing various costumes ranging from fairy tales to characters from science fiction movies. Netizens are amazed by her “Cinderella with a Glass Arm” photos, and Mandy has this message for all people with disabilities who want to pursue their dreams…
“I realized that we never know what the future may hold,” Pursley said. “But we can still bring joy to people today. This costume is dedicated to all the little girls learning to navigate the world with their ‘lucky fins’ or other challenges. I hope you know you are beautiful and that you are UNSTOPPABLE!!! Write your own story, and be your own kind of princess.”
Mandy’s husband, Ryan, plays the role of Cinderella’s Prince and makes his own costumes, too. The beautiful photos of husband and wife as Cinderella and her Prince captivated the hearts of their IG followers. Netizens have commented that Mandy is “the most beautiful Cinderella.”
Mandy claims she will keep designing costumes and making her own dresses for cosplay, her passion. She encourages people with disabilities to pursue their dreams and believes everyone is beautiful. “If you can’t find a princess like you, make one up for yourself. Every dream is a possibility!”
Watch a video clip of Mandy’s transformation into Cinderella.
Images credits: Mandy Pursley @mandypursley/Instagram