This photo of a little girl in a wheelchair admiring a beauty advertisement is going viral for a very special reason.
4-year-old Maren Anderson only recently become accustomed to using her wheelchair as a result of living with a rare disease caused by a genetic mutation. For 12 weeks, she had been practicing her navigation skills until she was finally comfortable enough to use the chair in public earlier this month
The youngster had been out with her mother Carolyn Anderson in Leesburg, Virginia when they passed an Ulta advertisement that depicted a smiling woman in a wheelchair—and Maren was floored.
“On this particular evening, Maren was cruising on the sidewalk in her wheelchair with a confidence we had not seen before,” Anderson told Good Morning America. “She was so eager, we could barely get her to stop at crosswalks. Then, she suddenly stopped and focused all her attention on this image of a woman in a wheelchair like hers. It was amazing.”
Anderson snapped a photo of the enchanting moment and published it to social media as a means of expressing her gratitude towards Ulta for representing differently-abled women.
“Well Ulta, you absolutely stopped my girl in her tracks this evening,” wrote Anderson. “It was mesmerizing to watch her stop, turn and gaze at this poster. So thank you.”
Since Anderson posted the photo to Facebook, it has been shared thousands of times—and she hopes that its internet fame will help show advertising companies that representation matters.
“She got to see herself in this picture, and that planted a seed for her to see that there is a place for kids like her in this world,” Anderson told GMA. “She was included.”
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