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. For ages I thought I was 4ft 11in, and discovering the truth was not fun either.
This height has some advantages: there's no VAT on clothes for children, and I can fit into anything for ages 10-11 perfectly. I rarely need to take notice of 'mind your head' signs. Fitting into small gaps on packed trains is much easier – not that I like the commute, it must be said.
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 my 20s. I'm 28 this year, and yet simply being treated like an adult is still a big ask.
Rightly or wrongly, people form lasting impressions from first appearances. 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 in writing.
Surely I can't be old enough to have that much copywriting experience? Oh yes I can. I've been around since 1987 already, and my career kicked off back in 2010. I'm on an advisory board, for chrissakes.
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 occasional time when appearances speak louder than words.