By Sarah Francis
A beauty queen with one arm is helping others celebrate their differences.
Sarah Stump, 19, from Nappanee, Indiana was born without her left arm below the elbow.
However, she doesn’t see it as a disability and challenged herself to tackle push ups, jumped rope and pull ups and ride a bike by herself.
After winning her local beauty contest in 2013, she went on to compete and win three more.
Now the stunning student has become a voice to encourage others they are ‘imperfectly perfect’.
Sarah, who is studying Human Resource Management, said: “Growing up I was always very comfortable with my arm.
“There was nothing that I couldn’t do but there were many challenges I faced.
“I had to adapt to many activities that were challenging for me but easy to other kids my age.
“My dad helped me to learn how to tie my shoes with one hand and my parents pretty much let me figure everything out on my own, which I am
forever grateful for because it made me stronger and more determined.
“Growing up was no different than a child with two arms except that I had to learn how to do things differently.”
Sarah claims she learned to love her difference from the offset.
She said: “My parents always told me that I was made imperfectly perfect and that God made me this way for a reason and I could do anything I set my mind to.
“Instead of hating my little arm, and being uncomfortable in my own skin. I decide to embrace my difference, love myself and my little arm, and use my difference as a mission to help others.”
Though that doesn’t stop people from making the odd comment or rude stares.
She added: “Everyone reacts differently towards me.
“When I walk around on campus at school people often stare, they don’t know what happened and are most likely curious.
“Children point and stare or ask their parent what happened to ‘that girl’.
“I have faced discrimination; I have been in a job interview and they called me handicap and asked how I would complete the job task.
“I have been bullied.
“I had to learn how to put up my hair with one arm, ride my bike, tie my shoes, and curl my hair.
“Still today I sometimes have to put up my hair 5 times before its right.
“A simple task to so many can be an everyday difficult task for me but like always I figure it out.”
Now Sarah runs her own blog here.
She added: “Doing beauty pageants was a great way to be a voice. You don’t often see people with difference and many young girls thanked me,
“I hope to empower others through my own life and through my mission of Imperfectly Perfect.
“Letting others know they are beautiful just as God has created them and they do not need to change.”