A picture of a 4-year-old Virginia girl who uses a wheelchair gazing at a beauty advertisement featuring a woman in a wheelchair went viral on Facebook.
Maren Anderson has a rare disease caused by a gene mutation. She uses a wheelchair to get around and doesn’t talk much.
“She does very brief, short sentences,” said her mother, Carolyn Anderson. “And she does a lot of pointing, a lot of non-verbal communication.”
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Her parents were stunned when she abruptly stopped her wheelchair at Ulta Beauty in Leesburg Wednesday evening to look at an ad showing a model in a wheelchair.
“It was like she could just see the representation that she belonged in this world like everybody else does,” her mother said. “And it just really tugged at all of our heart strings.”
Carolyn Anderson took the photo and posted it on Facebook with the caption, “Well Ulta, you absolutely stopped my girl in her tracks this evening. It was mesmerizing to watch her stop, turn and gaze at this poster. So thank you.”
The post has more than 60,000 shares as of Friday evening.
“It’s pretty amazing to see, and it's amazing the comments we get and the traction it has,” said her father, Tim Anderson.
“We love that this family shared such an amazing moment and were touched to see Maren looking at the image in our window – it makes us incredibly proud,” and Ulta Beauty spokeswoman said. “We feel even more inspired to continue to feature amazing people that help us shape how the world sees beauty.”
Ulta Beauty reached out to Maren and agreed to allow her to meet the model in the ad, Steph Aiello. They’re going to shop at the beauty store in Leesburg.