‘A boss lady can be ANY size!’
Dru Presta, 22, may be short in stature but she’s big in confidence – and now she’s taking the fashion industry by storm…
As she pouts for the camera, poised and fearless, Dru Presta is showing the world that sexy has no height restrictions.
At 3ft 4in tall, the sassy student, who admits she ‘stuck out like a sore thumb’ as a child, has turned her life around after suffering at the hands of merciless bullies in her hometown of Reno, Nevada, USA, for 15 years.
‘The other kids weren’t very accepting of the fact that I was different,’ says the 22-year-old. ‘Reno is a really small place, so it’s not very diverse. They wrung me out really hard, teasing me and calling me hurtful names.’
To make matters even tougher, Dru was the only person in her family to be born with dwarfism.
‘Growing up with dwarfism, I didn’t understand why the kids didn’t like me or want to play with me, so I got frustrated,’ she says. ‘I felt they were already judging me before they even got to know me.
‘My family had to learn how to deal with the negativity at the same time as I did. They did the best that they could. They didn’t want to shelter me or not let me go out.’
One thing Dru really struggled with was finding fashionable clothes to fit.
‘My fashion sense was nonexistent. I did what I could with off-the-peg clothes, doing my best to fix them,’ she says. ‘I’m not a designer, but I know how to sew. As a dwarf, I’ve had to stitch and adjust most of my clothes to get them to fit.’
After graduating from high school, Dru decided to take the big step to leave her home town and move to LA to study fashion marketing. Once there, she wove her way into
the fashion world of Los Angeles, joining a company called Cur8able.
The company, which was founded by her teacher, Stephanie Thomas, focuses on fashion styling for people with all types of disabilities. Through Cur8able, Dru met her agent, Gail, and has since launched her career in modelling.
‘Gail represents disabled people in the entertainment industry, so she finds modelling work for me that breaks down barriers and all the assumptions that people make about those who are disabled,’ she explains. ‘I wanted to find a voice in fashion and to evolve with it. Fortunately, there are a lot of open-minded people who understand that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.’
Before her first shoot, Dru admits she was incredibly nervous. ‘I didn’t really understand how to stand or look. But I soon gained confidence and that showed through the camera,’ she says. ‘It was like a different Dru was being exposed. I loved being in front of the camera.’
Soon after, the mini diva took part in a music video. ‘I was the centre of the video, so I had to radiate all my confidence at the camera, showing that a boss lady can be any size,’ she laughs. ‘I’ve learnt that being me is nothing to be ashamed of.’
She adds, ‘My ultimate dream is to work with Kim Kardashian West and Kanye on the kids’ collection that they have coming out. It’s very modern, and in my size. I’d love to represent and model their clothing line.’
Dru has worked with a number of beauty brands as their ambassador and, as well as being a model, she’s also an event speaker, fashion marketeer and an actress in the disability world.
‘I’m constantly discovering and learning new things about this community, and meeting amazing, beautiful people along the way,’ she says.
Since she first started modelling, sassy Dru’s feelings of self-worth have sky-rocketed and she’s now using Instagram to spread her body positivity message. Unfortunately, despite the fact that she’s been welcomed by the fashion industry, Dru admits she does get negative feedback on social media.
‘I receive negative comments daily and I’ve been called a lot of interesting things,’ she says. ‘People always feel bigger typing these remarks from behind a screen. I’m not too hurt by it, because I know who I am and what my worth is.’ Ultimately, Dru hopes her modelling work will mean that people of all shapes, sizes and backgrounds can become a part of the fashion world.
‘I decided to get into this field because I don’t want anyone else to feel that they can’t express themselves,’ she says. ‘I want my modelling photos to show that you can be sexy at any size. You can be 6ft 4in or 3ft 4in, like me, and still look cute.
‘I want anybody to be able to go down that runway, even if you’re rolling down it in your wheelchair or walking on crutches. And I want the fashion world to be able to see that we’re just like everybody else.’
‘I break down barriers and challenge assumptions’
A unique voice in fashion, Dru has nearly 10,000 Insta followers keen to hear her message
‘I feel like a different person in front of the camera’ says Dru. ‘I love it!’
Dru’s dream is to model Kim and Kanye’s kids’ clothing collection
Moving to LA has given Dru all kinds of opportunities