A dwarf woman has revealed how her love of dance helped her to recover from depression.
Jonna Ross, also known as Lil Miss Ross, 29, from California, was born with cartilage hair hypoplasia, which affects bone development, and was bullied for years about her 3ft size.
After years of torment, she left her depressed and suicidal, but was able to transform and restore her life after rediscovering a passion for dance.
& # 39; It helped me find out again how much confidence I have in myself and what I can actually do & she said.
Jonna Ross, also known as Lil Miss Ross, 29, from California, felt suicidal after years of torment, but was able to regain her confidence thanks to her love of dance
Jonna revealed that dancing had given her a new faith in her abilities, which made her sober
Jonna revealed: & Often when I am in public, small children will usually shout: "Look a little person" or "Oh my god, she is so short. Why is she so short?".
& # 39; If they come to talk to me, I just explain: & # 39; I was born with a kind of dwarfism. It is not like a disease. You can't get it. It won't hurt you.
& # 39; I am just like you, only with shorter limbs, that's it. I am the same person as you ". & # 39;
The 29-year-old admitted that such a short figure is accompanied by challenges.
The 3ft dancer was born with cartilage hair hypoplasia, which affected her bone development and left her with short limbs
Jonna said she is often left behind to explain why she is so small for strangers on the street who can ask insensitive questions
She has to buy children's clothes; her car has been specially adapted and she must use a mobility scooter for long distances.
Jonna said: & # 39; The type of dwarfism I have is cartilage hair hypoplasia, which means that all my limbs are just smaller. It's a genetic disease, so it's like a mutation. & # 39;
In addition to being born of short stature, people with the condition usually have malformations in the cartilage near the ends of the long bones in the arms and legs, which in turn affects bone development.
Their hair is usually also lighter in color due to missing pigmentation.
Even with her form of dwarfism, Jonna is particularly small in stature.
Jonna said that one of her biggest challenges is walking, because her step size is a lot shorter than that of other medium-sized people
She said: & # 39; Specific to me, I think I am a lot shorter than most dwarfs, so that can be a problem when it comes to trying to reach things, trying to find my way as a supermarket. & # 39;
She explained: & # 39; I have to specifically ask someone to walk with me to get stuff or bring a friend. I think I also live with faeces, like everywhere I go.
What is cartilage hair hypoplasia?
Cartilage hair hypoplasia is a disease of bone growth characterized by a short stature (dwarfism) with other skeletal abnormalities; fine, thin hair (hypotrichosis); and abnormal immune system function (immune deficiency) that can lead to recurrent infections.
People with cartilage hair hypoplasia have unusually short limbs and a short stature from birth.
They usually have malformations in the cartilage near the ends of the long bones in the arms and legs (metaphysical chondrodysplasia), which subsequently affect the development of the bone itself.
Most people with cartilage hair hypoplasia are unusually flexible in some joints, but they may have difficulty fully extending their elbows.
& # 39; Walking is more difficult because I am so much shorter. & # 39;
She explained: & # 39; It takes one step as an average size of about three for me, so I walk a lot more and I have to take many more breaks, which is sometimes very difficult. & # 39;
Jonna & # 39; s own childhood was difficult; she was bullied at a young age and therefore suffered from eating disorders.
She said: & # 39; Training for me was pretty bad. I was probably bullied all my life. & # 39;
& # 39; In addition to being different, I would always be fooled for my weight and I feel like every girl is experiencing it, but it was really bad. & # 39;
Food became both a consolation and a destructive remedy for Jonna, alternating between binge eating and withholding food.
Jonna remembered: & # 39; Eating was a way for me to comfort me, while I couldn't feel it alone.
& # 39; So I used a lot of food – either eating a lot or not eating at all to control that part of my life while I couldn't control other people or anything else. & # 39;
At the age of 21 – even after therapy for her food disorders began to take effect, Jonna left home to go to college.
She explained: “I turned 21 and I found alcohol and it was something magical that helped me to be this confident, wonderful person.
Jonna said that when she went to college, she drank for years, what looked like & # 39; something magical & # 39; that gave her more confidence to be a & # 39; great person & # 39; to become
& # 39; When I drank, I felt that I could do anything, be someone, talk to boys, do what I wanted to do.
& # 39; This entire alter ego came out. And so it was fun at first. And then it was no longer fun. & # 39;
Jonna continued: & # 39; The last three years before I became sober, I was just blackout. Every time I drank.
& # 39; I didn't always drink, but when I did drink, I went black and I never knew where I was, who I was with and that is pretty unsafe.
Jonna revealed that she felt suicidal after becoming dependent on alcohol after years of bullying
& # 39; I was very depressed, suicidal, just like that, really bad. And I just didn't want to feel that way anymore. & # 39;
After interventions from friends and family, Jonna went to rehabilitation and is now sober for almost three years.
A large part of Jonna & # 39; s recovery was dance. Because she loved to dance as a child, she had stopped at the age of 13 and believed she wasn't the right size to become a dancer.
She said: & # 39; I have loved to dance since I was little. When I was six years old, I started to dance. I did ballet, I did tap dancing, I did jazz and hip hop.
Jonna now uses dance to express herself and said the experience has changed how she feels about her body
Although she had a passion for dance all her life, Jonna said that as a child she felt discouraged from the hobby because she didn't look like other dancers
& # 39; And when I was about 12 or 13, I stopped because I realized that if I wanted to keep dancing in the studio, I didn't look like the dancers and I was told that I would never become a dancer because of how I look like saw from a teacher. & # 39;
Early in her austerity, Jonna again found that she was attending a dance class.
She said: & # 39; It helped me to find out again how much confidence I have in myself and what I can actually do and how I could really do this. & # 39;
Dance became a way of expressing itself; Jonna started posting videos of her lessons, which quickly caught the attention of some very famous viewers.
Now she often attends dance classes with other medium-sized people and says that dancing has helped her accept herself
The 29-year-old also said she was determined to help others embrace herself, as she said: & # 39; Everyone should wear a bikini and feel confident & # 39;
& # 39; I always received so many views and followers. All responses were great. So I thought, "Oh, okay, maybe I'm good at this!" And then it blew up from there. Chris Brown placed one and Snoop Dogg placed one and I was like: & # 39; What happens?! & # 39;
Jonna was recently asked to model for a bathing suit company.
She said: & # 39; I felt so strong about women. I think everyone has this feeling of a bathing suit or bikini – just as certain people should wear it.
& # 39; And that is not the case – everyone should wear a bikini and feel confident. & # 39;
Jonna said she now feels freer than ever and has finally been able to & # 39; let go & # 39; and accept who she is
Eventually Jonna, who has just graduated from California State University, wants to become Northridge with a bachelor's degree in Child and Adolescent Development.
She believes her path helped her to love herself – and she wants to enable other young people to do the same.
She said: & # 39; I would say being a dwarf is the reason why I drink because I have never accepted who I am completely. And as soon as I did, it set me free from everything.
& # 39; So being sober has literally saved my life because I finally let go and am who I want to be and I don't care what other people think. & # 39;
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