‘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…

Reveal - - Real Lives - See In­sta­gram.com/ g0lden.bebe/ Han­nah Stevens & Laura Hinton

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

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