We all know the story; poor little Cinders leaves her signature glass slipper on the steps of the royal palace as she flees from the prince before the clock strikes 12 and she transforms back into her evil stepmother’s and ugly stepsisters’ maid.
But despite Cinderella being flawed by the class system, like any story book princess, Cinders never displays any relatable disabilities or hindrances.
Well, amputee Many Pursley, wanted to rewrite the fairy-tale with a clever modern-day twist.
To celebrate physical differences, the sewing enthusiast created a beautiful Cinderella costume but swapped a glass slipper for a glass glove.
Pursley wanted to broaden representation of people with physical differences to help develop normality in the public eye.
With her real life ‘Prince Charming’, husband Ryan accompanying her on an enchanted photoshoot, the pair set out to recreate iconic scenes from the story but displaying Mandy’s magical glass arm created by artist, Gilbert Lozano.
‘Representation is so powerful’ Pursley said. ‘It is so much easier to believe in yourself when you are able to see people who look like you achieving the same dreams you have. People who have differences really just want to feel included and accepted without feeling the need to hide what makes them unique.’
The idea came to her when her daughter started reading about the story of Cinderella in school and saw the opportunity to become the role model she wished for as a child.
‘I still never saw amputee women being portrayed as normal, beautiful, or strong, so it took me a long time to realise that being different and unique can actually be a positive trait.’
When Pursley finally shared the finished photoshoot to Facebook, the engagement went through the roof with likes and comments. The album gained over 24K shares.
‘My favourite part has been hearing from parents of children with ‘lucky fins’ like mine, who shared how excited their kids were to finally see a princess who looked like them.’ She said, ‘I hope that people with all sorts of differences are encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response to this character who shows that beauty is so much deeper than physical perfection.’