So what do you do when you can't find a princess like you? You make up your own! - @BeTheSparkCosplay
@BeTheSpark Cosplay mentioned on a post in her Facebook page that her Cinderella cosplay was supposed to be for a competition, but she didn't quite make it in because of medical reasons.
Then one day, a friend of hers asked if she could share a picture to a little girl born with one arm. She realized, "...we never know what the future may hold...but we can still bring joy to people today!". Here's more from her Facebook post -
If there was ever a project that was a labor of love, this is it! When my daughter was studying Cinderella stories at school last year, I realized that even though there were so many beautiful tales from around the world, there were still no princesses who looked like ME! 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.
So what do you do when you can't find a princess like you? You make up your own!
I spent countless hours sewing Cinderella's ballgown and her Prince's uniform. And my fairy godfather Gilbert Lozano brought everything together with the most amazing glass arm (glass slippers are SO last year! 😉 )
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. ❤
(Many, MANY thanks to all the people who helped turned this dream into reality! My real-life Prince Charming, who didn't think I was crazy while I kept sewing for MONTHS. Gilbert, the brilliant artist who didn't even know me but believed in my dream and is now a cherished friend. Eric Morris and Nick Ibarra at Cemrock who generously offered their equipment and assistance to create the glass arm. Jennifer Woodard at Hanger Clinic in Vista, CA for helping me figure out how to attach the prosthetic, and of course the amazing Kelly Anderson for taking such beautiful photographs!! Who needs magic when you are surrounded by such talented and generous people!)
What is the story behind not making it into the cosplay contest?
I have a mitochondrial disease that causes gastroparesis, (when my stomach just stops working), and an inability to control my body temperature, among other things. There was so much excitement leading up to San Diego Comic Con that my chronic illness flared up badly. I tried to push through it, and was even waiting for my turn to go on stage...but I didn’t quite make it. Putting on a wig, a corset and four skirts in a hot crowded room is probably not the best idea when you are dehydrated from gastroparesis and already overheated. About an hour before I was to perform my body gave out. I literally collapsed and ended up being taken to the hospital that night.
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. ❤ - @BeTheSparkCosplay
What other characters have you cosplayed that encourages people with disabilities?
This was my first cosplay where I wanted the physical difference to really be the star. But I have also done Furiosa, and zombies, and last year we did a group Attack on Titan cosplay where my arm had been ripped off!
Cinderella can have a glass arm, and Superman can be in a wheelchair, and Sailor Moon can be beautifully plus sized, because cosplay is the great equalizer. - @BeTheSparkCosplay
Why should people still cosplay in their own, unique way?
Often we view cosplay as a way to become another character, one who is stronger or braver or smarter or more super-powered than ourselves. We feel empowered by taking on those qualities for a day. But I think it is just as important to realize that we ALREADY possess those qualities within ourselves, and cosplay is equally reflective of who WE are! It’s powerful to see someone dress up as their favorite character, even if they don’t physically match up with the character in the traditional way, and just own a character that is fit to THEM, rather than the other way around. Cinderella can have a glass arm, and Superman can be in a wheelchair, and Sailor Moon can be beautifully plus sized, because cosplay is the great equalizer. It is my hope that as we individually embrace our differences, Hollywood will eventually catch on as well and begin to create stories that spread a message of positivity about all sorts of different people too.
BeTheSparkCosplay is truly inspirational! I can't wait to see more cosplays from her, soon.
You can follow @BeTheSparkCosplay here