Tiny dancer Kat Hoffman has beaten the bullies who taunted her for her small size – by becoming a stripper.
The 26-year-old, who is 3ft 11in, was teased for being a dwarf at school, but has now found fame and love.
Kat was born with diastrophic dysplasia dwarfism which means her arms, legs and torso are shorter than average and she weighs just 61lb.
But now the unlikely pin-up girl is earning up to £1,400 per week and has found love with 6ft soldier Eich Buscher, 34.
Kat said: ‘At school I felt like an outcast, people bullied me because of my size and I was angry at the world.
‘Since getting famous as a dancer I’ve learned to be myself. Now all the people who ignored me at school want to be my friend on Facebook.
‘I call myself a smile producer – not an exotic entertainer. I just want to put smiles on people’s faces.’
Growing up in Bellefontaine, Ohio, with parents Sherry, 52, and Wayne, 53, Kat found life difficult and at 16 she was taken out of school to be home-schooled.
‘High school was a difficult time,’ she recalls. ‘Other kids were rude and brutally bitchy.
‘I dreaded school every day – no one wanted to speak with me.’
At age 18 Kat visited a strip club with a friend who worked there and decided to get up and dance.
‘Despite the bullying I was always proud of my body and by the end of the night I was on stage in the nude – it was such a buzz.
‘A lot of us disabled people don’t feel sexy because of our handicaps – but I don’t think it’s necessary,’ she goes on. ‘Everybody is sexy in their own way and personality is all that matters. You have to have a heart, that’s really all it takes to be sexy in my book.
‘During my first week of dancing I made $1,000 in one week, so I decided to make a living out of it.’
Since then Kat has appeared in clubs all over the US as Kat the Midget Stripper and also dances at birthdays and bachelor parties.
Last year Kat found love with military man Eich, who she met through mutual friends and the pair are now engaged.
‘Eich was a fan of mine before we met as he’d seen my pictures online.
‘He asked a mutual friend to introduce us and I fell for him right away – our personalities clicked,’ explains Kat.
‘I always go for tall men, I love the size difference.’
The couple are now engaged and say their difference in appearance is no obstacle to love.
‘The height difference does pose some problems but nothing too big that we can’t handle – obviously she walks slower,’ says Eich.
‘I have a full body tattoo from my neck to my ankles so I’m used to getting strange looks in public.
‘This whole world is filled with different kinds of types of people and you have to realise that some people will not accept you for who you are.
‘You just ignore those people.’
And while Kat’s profession is controversial for some – her family are generally supportive of what she does.
Mum, Sherry, even hand-makes her stripper outfits, which don’t come in her size.
However, Kat’s sister, Renee, is less enthusiastic.
‘I’ve been to her shows before and they don’t go there to see her, they go there to laugh at her,’ says Renee.
‘It hurts a lot watching that because that’s my baby sister. I wish she would stop but I don’t think she will.’
But Kat has no plans to leave the stripping business just yet.
‘Eich doesn’t mind that I do this for a living, he knows he couldn’t get me to stop. I give myself five more years if not longer. It just depends on how much the world wants to work my joints on the stage in the next few years. We’ll see how long I last.
‘This job has taught me to appreciate my body and who I am – I’m so glad I found it.’