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Woman Designs Cinderella Costume With Glass Arm To Show Different Is Beautiful.

Whether we realize it or not, kids are always looking at the world around them to see where they fit in.

It’s important to show children that people come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and personalities. We’re like snowflakes, even though underneath it all our differences are only skin-deep. Growing up with only one arm, Mandy Pursley understands this concept all too well.


Mandy had her right arm amputated as a child, and as she grew up she found herself wishing to see people like herself represented. She struggled with her self esteem for a long time before finding the strength she needed to accept and love herself just as she is.

“When I was growing up with a physical difference, I never saw girls like myself represented in the media, so 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 on Facebook.

Now that she’s an adult Mandy devotes her time to creating gorgeous cosplay costumes designed to “highlight the beauty of our differences.” Last year she spent hours toiling over her sewing machine to create an absolutely stunning version of Cinderella’s ball gown. She enlisted the help of artist Gilbert Lozano to design a glass arm, instead of Cinderella’s iconic glass slipper. A construction company and a medical clinic each helped bring Gilbert’s design to 3D fruition.


Last summer photographer Kelly Anderson captured Mandy and her prince, husband Ryan Pursley, in all their cosplay glory. Mandy was eager to enter her outfit in a costume competition. Sadly, she had a sudden medical problem that meant she had to skip the competition, so she put the pictures on hold for next year.

One day a friend reached out to Mandy to ask if she had any pictures of herself to share with a little girl who also has one arm. Mandy knew right away which pictures she had to share!

Kelly Anderson Photography

“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 put the pictures on Facebook where they went viral with thousands of likes and shares. Mandy says she is overwhelmed by the response, but so grateful that the attention means the images will reach an even broader audience.

Kelly Anderson Photography

“I am literally just blown away by all the love and support here. All of you fabulous people have created this beautiful corner of positivity and light and are just shooting it out there and it is AMAZING. […] Please shower these kids with all the love too because they are adorable and awesome exactly the way they are! I know they are going to write some great stories one day too!”

Kelly Anderson Photography

Brava, Mandy! It’s so important for them to see that they’re not alone. Not only that, but you can grow up to be a princess like Mandy no matter what you look like. Remember, “Be kind, have courage and always believe in a little magic!”

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