After a medical emergency left her unable to enter cosplay competitions last summer, Mandy Pursley of Be the Spark Cosplay decided to shelve her Cinderella cosplay until the following year. But then a friend asked Pursley if she had any photos she could share with a little girl that was born with one arm.
Pursley herself was born with a congenital amputation of her right arm, and she knew how important representation could be. “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,” she wrote. So she made a decision.
“I realized that we never know what the future may hold,” Pursley said. “But we can still bring joy to people today.” Rather than wait for the next year’s Comic-Con, Pursley uploaded the photos she had taken of herself as “Cinderella with a glass arm” to social media with a message attached.
“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.”