It's the inside that counts...
My name is Mary Russell & it pains me to tell you I will be turning half a century this year because the truth is I remember my thirties as though it were yesterday.
I live in London and I have a genetic condition called Achondroplasia commonly known as dwarfism. I am 4 ft tall 4ft 1 when I'm feeling cheeky. What's an inch between friends? I suffer from spinal stenosis and Sciatica, which causes me great pain. Although in 2013 I managed to win 4 gold medals age 44 in Michigan at the WDG World Dwarf Games.
-2014 I appeared on a contraversial TV documentary about finding love with a disability.
-2016 I walked in Tokyo fashion week with other women with dwarfism
-2017 I appeared a guest star on a reality show 'Little Women LA" as a fashion designer
-2017 I was 1/6 of a group of people with disabilities who went to Vietnam 'Without Limits'
-2018 I starred in my own fashion TV advert
-2018 I graced the front cover of a high end magazine along with four other women with disabilities
-2019 January looking forward to my documentary airing about all my fashion endevours
And I've done so much in between...
I am a mother to my 21 yr old son, who also has Achondroplasia. I am so lucky to have my son in my life. I cannot imagine how lonely my life would have been without him in it.
I enjoy exchanging conversations with my son, about how society has changed from when I was a child growing up in '70s Yorkshire (North of England). The '70s were full of highs and lows.
The highs: I had the great outdoors to play, endless loving friends who had my back, great music and fashion to enjoy.
The lows: Being called out regularly about my size & race. If it was a really good day both. My ADHD & Anxiety was not diagnosed thus causing me not to be understood.
Some of the lows still remain palpable today. I tell my son the world is still not perfect but better awareness is being made.
I say to him he has a variety of people he can be inspired by. i didn't have that in the seventies. People who had dwarfism in the '70s were in entertainment. That made me feel fearful for my future. I turned to average height people of colour for inspiration.
I tell my son to be who you want to be. If you don't see that person, become that person you want to see.