By Nathalie Bonney @NathalieBonney

Laura Alma Casados Mata, 28, wanted to be a model ever since she was a little girl but because of her dwarfism, (she’s 3ft 9") Laura wondered if it would ever be possible

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Videographer / director: Colin Weatherby

Producer: Nathalie Bonney, Ruby Coote

Editor: Sonia Estal

Growing up in Querétaro, Mexico, Laura didn’t initially notice her height was any different to her other schoolmates until in high school they started to make mean comments, even putting her inside trash cans and lockers. She would go home crying to her grandmother who told her “you’re beautiful and you need to love yourself.” When she was 15, Laura stopped walking and came to LA to have 18 surgeries over a nine-month-period to straighten the bones in her legs so she could walk again. When she got back to Mexico, Laura decided to begin her own foundation to raise awareness of what it’s like to be a little person. She also writes a weekly column about the everyday challenges a little person faces, for her local newspaper. But even with all of her academic and advocacy achievements, Laura’s dream of becoming a model didn’t go away and in 2015, she decided to appear in a pageant – and loved it. Now she is signed to a modelling agency, LOA Models, and is the only little person on their books with dwarfism.