By Hannah Stevens @Hannahshewans

A MAKE-UP artist born without femur bones or knees refuses to let her disability hold her back from her dream career

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Videographer / director: Colin Weatherby
Producer: Hannah Stevens, Ruby Coote
Editor: Beth Angus

Priscilla Miranda was born with Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency (PFFD), a non-hereditary birth defect that affects the pelvis, hip bones and the proximal femur.

Throughout her childhood, the make-up artist had several surgeries on her ankles to correct clubbing and on one of her feet.

After being complimented on her own make up skills, the 31-year-old from Orange County, California, decided to pursue a career as a make-up and hair artist, even though she was discouraged during college tours.

Priscilla told Barcroft TV: “Being a make-up artist, I think it has definitely changed my view of myself. Ten years ago, if you’d asked me to do this interview, I probably would have said no.

“I held my head up high and smiled, but inside I was probably the most insecure I’ve ever been in my whole entire life.

“Being in this industry, I’ve realised that these girls are beautiful and they come into my set with the same insecurities I’ve had myself.

“Everyone has insecurities, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one anymore.”

Growing up, Priscilla’s mother helped her daughter shrug off stranger’s looks and comments.

Priscilla said: “I remember as a child going to stores with my mum and kids staring at me, adults pointing and looking at me.

“I remember my mom constantly telling me: ‘Don’t cry, don’t let them get the best of you’, so I grew up with that mentality.”

Priscilla has been doing make-up and hair professionally for nearly eight years, but it was a nerve wracking beginning.

She said: ”I remember my first shoot, I was so nervous and I was going by myself.

“Are they gonna be cool with me? Are they gonna be weird? Is this gonna be awkward? Are they gonna ask me back? And then I just remember having a lot of anxiety honestly, deep inside.

“I wanted to do hair when I first graduated but when I went visit the school, I remember doing a walk around and they kind of discouraged me more not to do hair.

“Just because they were like: ‘Well it’s going to be hard for you to reach things, you’ll have to have a step that you’ll have to move all the time.’"

But after getting lots of compliments about her own make-up, Priscilla decided to apply for courses anyway and pursue her dream.

She added: “The condition I have is extremely rare. I have PFFD, it’s a disorder with my femur bones. I’m missing both my femurs and I’m also missing me knees.

“Day-to-day life is being very aware of where I’m going, because not having knees I constantly have to think about are they’re going to be stairs.

“And I hate going food shopping, everything I need is always on the top shelf!

“I would say that my condition only affects my work with probably my height. I have to carry a stall around because I don’t always know what’s available to me.”

Priscilla’s business partner, Sonia Gonzalez, added: “Priscilla is a very talented woman, she knows what she wants and she goes for it.

“I have had times where I feel like I get upset at the way that people react towards her, but she’s good in the way she handles herself.

“I think she’s super funny, she has me laughing all the time, she doesn’t allow her physical disabilities to limit her.”

Embracing her difference and pursuing her ideal career has helped Priscilla find her inner strength.

“I believe make up can be used in several ways to make you feel powerful.

“The most important thing that I think I’ve learned is that I’m a lot stronger than I give myself credit for, and I can do a lot more than I thought I ever could do.”