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Unstoppable in Stilettos
A Girl's Guide to Living Tall in a Small World
Publisher: Hci Published: Oct 1 2010 Pages: 190 Weight: 0.65lbs. Height: 8.50" Width: 5.75" Depth: 0.50" Language: English
Who's the Little Girl with the Big Voice?
Standing 4 feet, 2 inches tall in flats (which she would never be caught dead in anyway), Lauren Ruotolo has spent her 33-ish years seeing the world from a unique angle--upward facing. She does not have dwarfism and she is not a paraplegic. Ruotolo was born with McCune-Albright Syndrome, a mysterious and rare genetic disease that researchers say occurs in anywhere between 1 in 100,000 and 1 in 1 million people. Some people with the condition have short legs due to deformities (Lauren does); and some experience early puberty and accelerated development (Lauren literally started developing at 9 months old, and went into menopause as a pre-teen); and bones can be easily broken and bruised (count her in), and therefore, they tend to go the wheelchair route. That was never going to be a road Lauren wanted to travel. And so far, so good!
Her preferred method of transportation, instead, include stiletto heels, and she utilizes them to do everything from hailing cabs in mid-town Manhattan and driving her white Audi convertible back to her childhood home and hairdresser parents on Long Island, to traipsing along the streets of exotic, ancient places like Greece and Turkey. But how does a girl who was originally predicted to live a wheel-chair bound existence become so adventurous, self-assured, successful, and . . . unflappable?
Instead of being hovered over by enabling parents, she was sent off to sleep away camp (and became a counselor later on). Instead of trailing behind the other kids in grade school in a game of freeze tag, she orchestrated it. Instead of following in the footsteps of her two stunning younger sisters, she became the role model big sister to them (and landed a hot boyfriend, to boot!) Today she is the Director of Entertainment Promotions for Hearst Magazines.
Lauren Ruotolo avoided the label of "disabled" through uniquely discovering who she really is and thus avoiding playing the label game. The little girl, with the big voice, Ruotolo is a combination of roaring personality, great mind, and humble soul, with a heart bigger than any shoe closet of Carrie Bradshaw. Part of that heart fills this book, as Ruotolo offers the entertaining evolution of a little girl in a big world to living tall in a small one, with advice and encouragement for any woman of any age who is still finding her way.