BETTENDORF -- Emmy Cuvelier is a Disney princess at heart. She grew up dreaming of one day wearing a crown. That's what she does as the reigning Miss Central Iowa. But she also lives the princess life by transforming into her favorite characters.
Cuvelier works for Little Princess Parties in Urbandale, Iowa. She was first cast as Ariel, the Little Mermaid, to appear at events like children's birthday parties. But her boss also lets her pursue a passion. She volunteers as a princess at places like the Genesis Pediatric Therapy Center in Bettendorf, Iowa.
Cuvelier showed News 8 the routine it takes to get into character. It all starts with creating a doe-eyed look, using dramatic eyeliner and fake lashes. The rest of the face is more natural, with a light pink blush on her cheeks. The secret to really becoming Ariel is coloring her eyebrows a bright shade of red to make her Ariel wig. She does that using a bright red lipstick.
Emmy Cuvelier's visit to the therapy center included a story time, a song, and a treasure hunt with a group of about six young children. She answers their questions about life under the sea and how she got King Triton to let her leave the water for the afternoon. (He knows humans are friendly, thanks to Prince Eric.)
Cuvelier spends about an hour with the kids before swimming off to her next adventure. She is working hard to get ready for the Miss Iowa pageant coming up later in June. She's competing for the second time and hoping to take home the title.