A 22-year-old woman who is “stuck” in the body of an 8-year-old said she gets judged every time she wears makeup in public or does things other adults do.
Shauna Rae survived a rare form of brain cancer when she was just six months old – but the side effects of the treatment stopped her from growing normally.
In an upcoming show on TLC, she opens up about her stress and struggles living in a 3ft 10in body.
Her childlike appearance has brought negative attention to her and her mum because strangers think she is a child trying to do adult things.
Shauna’s mother Patty said: “Shauna likes to dress up like any other 22-year-old girl, but we go out together and she gets look like ‘oh wow, what is she doing?’, ‘what is that kid doing?’
“And then I get the looks of ‘how could you let your child dress like this?'”
Shauna said: “My mum has to explain that I’m old enough to make my own decisions and they don’t believe her.
“They call her a liar. So that’s not fun.
“I feel horrible for my mum because I don’t have to deal with the backlash because they don’t think it’s appropriate to come up to the child to say these things.
“They think it’s appropriate for them to come up to the mother, which isn’t appropriate at all in my opinion.”
Shauna, who said she is a “woman stuck in the body of an 8-year-old”, tried to do different things to prove to herself that she is an adult.
She said: “I started vaping to look older. I’ve always been attracted to an edgy kind of lifestyle – tattoos, piercing, vaping.
“But doing anything adult-esque wasn’t to show anybody that I’m an adult, it’s to prove to myself that I am an adult.
“It makes me feel I am who I want to be.”