By Hannah Stevens @Hannahshewans
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Videographer / Director: Per Christian Lind
Producer: Hannah Stevens, Ruby Coote
Editor: Sonia Estal
Two years ago, Dru moved from her small-town life, to shiny Los Angeles so she could pursue her dream of breaking the fashion industry. Whilst studying for a degree in fashion marketing, she has also been breaking barriers with her modelling career.
The 21-year-old oozes confidence and sass now, but it has taken her a long time to get there. Born with achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism, she was made to feel an outcast in her hometown of Reno, Nevada and says she was bullied for 15 years because of her size.
Dru told Barcroft TV: “The way people reacted was not the best way for a child for ever be exposed to. Reno, Nevada is really small. So, it’s very small in diversity. They weren’t quite accepting to the fact of something that was different. Something abnormal.
“They definitely rung me out really hard. They teased and they made hurtful names. I just stuck out like a sore thumb.
'When I was younger I used to deal with criticism in the worst way possible. I would completely lash out."
Dru is the only person in her family to have been born with dwarfism, so the whole family learned how to deal with negativity together.
She said: “In my family I am the only dwarf and all of history with my family life. So, they were, kind of, learning as I was learning through my life. They did the best they could and they did a really good job. They don’t want to shelter me, which they usually do with a lot of Little People because they feel scared to see their own child just to go out in general.”
After graduating high school Dru decided to take the big step to leave her home town and move to the bright lights of LA for a ‘freer’ life.
The demi diva now studies fashion marketing and has begun to venture into the modelling world to forge a new path for fashionable Little People everywhere.
Dru said: “I decided to get in to this field because I don’t want anyone else to feel like they can’t express themselves like the way I did back home.
“I don’t want them to feel secluded. I don’t want them to feel like they have to wear what everybody else is wearing, just because that’s what offered in our size. I want people to be able to feel as free as I do.
“I want my modelling photos to show that you can be sexy in any size. You can be super duper tall and 6 foot 4 inches and you can be 3 foot 4 inches like me and still look sexy and cute.”
Before starting a new life in LA, Dru struggled to find fashionable clothes for Little People and just got by with what she could find.
She said: “My fashion sense was honestly non-existent back home until I moved to Los Angeles. I did what I could at stores. I was doing my best with fixing them.
"To find fashionable clothes is probably the most relieving thing in the world. I get to freely express who I am without having to worry if it’s something uncomfortable because it’s not me, specifically, for my body type.”
Dru hopes her modelling work will encourage people of all shapes, size and backgrounds to be included in the fashion world.
She said:“I want everybody in the fashion world just to be accepted. I want anybody to be able to walk that runway just like anybody else - whether you see them rolling down the runway in your wheelchair or on crutches.
"I want people to be able to feel like they can do it just like anybody else. And I want the fashion world to be able to see that - we’re just like everybody else.”
Since she started modelling Dru’s confidence has skyrocketed and now she is using her Instagram to spread body positivity.
Presta said: “Modelling has boosted my confidence a ton. I feel a lot sexier in front of the camera, it’s like a different Dru that likes to be exposed. Honestly, there is just no other words, I love being in front of the camera.
‘My advice for people with dwarfism who would love to become a model is just to do it.”
Presta hopes the path she is forging in the fashion industry will encourage others to express their true selves.
She said: “I decided to get in to this field because I don’t want anyone else to feel like they can’t express themselves like the way I did back home. I don’t want them to feel secluded. I don’t want them to feel like they have to wear what everybody else is wearing, just to, just because that’s what offered in our size. I want people to be able to feel as free as I do.”