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  • Kady Potter

Do I look like a copywriter to you?

I stopped growing quite early on. I was a premature baby, and the doctors were convinced that I would keep on growing after everybody else stopped. Fat chance of that. (No pun intended.)


So, today I stand 4ft 10in in socks. It's barely more than that in shoes, to be honest. And I have done since I was about 15. Not that I knew that the whole time - I thought I was 4ft 11in for ages, and discovering the truth was not fun either.


This height has some advantages: there's no VAT on clothes for children. I rarely need to take notice of 'mind your head' signs. Fitting into small gaps on packed trains is much easier – not that I enjoy being on a packed train either way.


On the downside, it's a lot more difficult to be taken seriously when you're short. I've been kicked off a basketball team. I was almost escorted home by the police for playing truant from school... when I was 19 and trying to go shopping.


This trend has continued well into adulthood. I was once asked for ID at a Science Museum Lates evening (18+) in London. And not just a "Can I see your ID, please?" No. The security guy's question of choice was "You do know this is only for grownups, don't you love?" I couldn't take it as a compliment at the time...


Rightly or wrongly, people form lasting impressions from first appearances. I do it, you do it, we all do it. When they meet me for the first time and clock my height, they make assumptions. Mostly about my age, and then about my relative experience as a copywriter.


It's a dangerous train of thought to follow, and it has almost lost me clients.


Surely I can't be old enough to have that much copywriting experience? Oh yes I can! (There, now I'm Wee Jimmy Krankie in panto. That comparison doesn't do much for my case.)


It'd be nice to let my work show what I'm capable of. To be fair, most of the time it does. When people see my words before they see my face, they're not so bothered about how old I look. There's just the odd time when appearances speak louder than words.

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