This is PART 2 of 2 for my Breaking Barriers Series. This one is all about a woman who is a Pinup Girl Breaking Amputee Barriers. The session was photographed in June of this year, and was a personal project of mine. I was in search of Inspiring Manitoba People who also were engaged in the Pinup Genre. The Pinup Community as a whole I have found to be very accepting, with messages of body positivity and empowerment. I wanted to go beyond that, and meet and photograph some truly Inspirational Pinup Girls, and have there message broadcast.


winnipeg pinup girl amputee

vintage mature pinup doll

It’s time to introduce the STAR of the “Pinup Girl Breaking Amputee Barriers” Show…and a truly Inspirational Woman.

Meet Dottie St. Laurent. Dottie has a prosthesis on her Left Leg – from the knee down. She has been an amputee since 2005 after an accidental fall.

Dottie says, “I’ve chosen to maintain a positive upbeat attitude, as I feel I have a lot of life to live at the young age of 57.”

She has a granddaughter that she regularly visits with, and does NOT let her prosthesis limit her enjoyment.


winnipeg pinup amputee inspiration

vintage style 1950s fashion

I have to first thank my regular super talented hairstylist – Cristina Mazzei from Urban Crush Salon.

When I told her about my personal project, she jumped on board with a big “thumbs up”.

Dottie went to the salon located in Winnipeg and was treated like a Pinup Diva and came out looking like a Pinup Doll.

She had the perfect look for this Pinup Girl Breaking Amputee Barriers shoot.


vintage winnipeg 1950s hairstyle

When I was in the early stages of my Breaking Barriers Project, I was looking for potential models who would be inspirational to others.

People who had taken their disability and instead – emphasized their ABILITIES. I was looking for role models out there that could inspire others.

I chatted with Chris Marshall from Manitoba Limb Loss, which is a fabulous organization that Supports and Inspires Amputees.

When I pitched my project to him, Dottie immediately came to mind as a participant, due to her obvious enthusiasm for life.

I contacted Dottie via telephone and outlined the project. She was super pumped up about the idea and was fully invested.


manitoba amputee role model photography

manitoba disability role model

Dottie told me that most people would probably think of her as a “unique” pinup girl, but in her mind she is just a regular gal.

Dottie has chosen to maintain a positive attitude since receiving her leg prosthesis, and it has paid off.

She maintains an active lifestyle and can walk as well as drive to any location she chooses.

During our Pinup Girl Breaking Amputee Barriers photo shoot, Dottie was able to move around and pose with no particular problems.

She even had some fancy shoes that adorned both her feet.


winnipeg amputee model photography While chatting with Dottie during our shoot, she mentioned that people with physical disabilities encounter TWO main hurdles.

The first one being the preconceived notions of the general public. Many people feel that an amputee can not do very much, or can’t do something very well.

They also feel a bit uncomfortable around a person with a disability as they don’t know how to act around them. Sometimes people for sorry for a person with a disability.

Dottie has encountered all those falsely preconceived ideas – and has chosen to rise above it all.

She says SHE CAN DO ANYTHING ANYONE ELSE CAN DO, it just might take her a bit longer. LOVE THAT ATTITUDE!

Case in point – Dottie was confidently “nailing” her Pinup Girl Breaking Amputee Barriers photo shoot.


1950's summer fashion manitoba photography

disabled amputee inspiring pinup model

Dottie says that of course there are days that are harder then others, but she “pushes through” the tough days and keeps a smile on her face.

She hopes that other people with any sort of disability can feel some inspiration from her photo shoot adventure.

During our Pinup Girl Breaking Amputee Barriers session, Dottie made it clear that she did not want to hide her prosthesis.

On the flip side – we also didn’t want to JUST make it ALL about her prosthesis.

It was a balance of just taking regular Pinup poses that I would do with anyone, with her prosthesis being in view, dependent on the pose.


disability amputee role model manitoba

1950s steinbach summer photographer

Dottie was very complimentary of the Manitoba Limb Loss Organization. Their motto is “Amputee Strong”, and Dottie could be the Poster Child.

This Outstanding organization provides amputees with:

  • Resource Materials
  • Support Groups
  • User Experiences
  • Rehab Partners

Their Mission Statement is: Motivate And Inspire Each Individual Through Education And Support To Help Them Reach Their Full Potential.

They work to ensure that no amputee feels alone through pre-amputation, post amputation as well as recovery.


1950s vintage style photography

This was the only pose that Dottie needed any assistance with during our Pinup Girl Breaking Amputee Barriers – and she had no problem asking for help.

She is not shy about her prosthesis, but she is also not bitter. She has this warm inspiring personality that she shares with everyone she meets.

She makes you forget that she may be unique in a physical sense – but also makes you AWARE she is unique with her POSITIVE ATTITUDE.


inspiring winnipeg disabled model photography

wpg vintage hairstyle makeup

Dottie told me that she adores the clothing and hairstyles of the 1950’s. “Everyone seemed to take life a bit slower”, which is how she lives her life.

My studio provided all the props for this shoot, including the 1959 Vespa Motor Scooter.

Dottie was in love with her Pinup Dress, which she selected from the studio’s vast inventory – and is available for all clients.

Dottie’s favourite 50’s role model is the iconic Marilyn Monroe, because she was such a positive inspiration for women.


pinup life magazine disability model

winnipeg amputee inspiring model

The absolutely awesome result of our pinup shoot was the DOTTIE was PUBLISHED in the current issue of PINUP LIFE MAGAZINE.

The above two images are the exact pages from this magazine.

This is such an inspiring accomplishment that Dottie has achieved.

It hopefully will bring confidence to other amputees or persons with disabilities – that they CAN DO ANYTHING!


inspiring amputee role model photography manitoba

empowering amputee model winnipeg

That concludes this Pinup Girl Breaking Amputee Barriers blog posting. This was part 2 of the 2 part series on breaking barriers.

Part 1 can be found in our Blog and features Crystal, who is a woman that is an unstoppable force, even in her wheelchair.

I hope everyone reading these two blog postings, comes away with the message that anyone with a disability really just wants to be treated “like everyone else” and want the same opportunities.

I hope you ALL were INSPIRED by Dottie and her POSITIVE OUTLOOK to life. We can all use a heaping dose of that.

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To see more of our unique photography postings – visit our blog – or check out these links:     Link 1     Link 2     Link 3     Link 4

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