While growing up, Mandy Pursely noticed that not a single Disney Princess was like her. Mandy has lived her entire life with one arm and says, “I had to identify with people who weren’t just like me.”
This was challenging for her, and she admits that “it took me a long time to realize that being different and unique can actually be a positive trait.”
When Mandy’s husband Ryan gave her a sewing machine, he probably had no idea how his wife would use it for good. Mandy created a Cinderella dress just like the one in the Disney movie, except Mandy’s gown would have a matching glass arm.
After spending 60 hours on the gown and 40 hours on a prince suit for her husband, Mandy and Ryan did a photoshoot with photographer Kelly Anderson.
The pictures went viral and became an inspiration for others. Kelly Anderson says the photos teach children that, “You can be creative. You can be beautiful. You can be the main character in your own story.”
Mandy also started a Facebook Page called Be The Spark Cosplay. This page allows people to share the ways they use costumes to encourage others.
If nothing else, Mandy has shown kids that it’s okay to be different. She says, “I hope that people with all sorts of differences are encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response to this character.”
Mandy is encouraging more people to embrace their differences. So what makes you unique? Celebrate it today!