Zara Hartshorn 13 Year Old Girl that Looks 30 Years Older
Zara lives at home with her mom, sisters and a brother. There is, of course, the usual rough-and-tumble and sibling bickering one would expect in a large family. But, Zara said, she feels safe and loved. No one makes fun of her, unlike every time she steps outside her front door, where she's scared.
Zara was, she said, a confident little girl. Then at age 5, the bullying started. "The kids started calling me names," she said.
Zara went home in tears. "I asked my mom why I was different," she said.
As she grows older, Zara's anxiety has increased. She lives in Rotherham, South Yorkshire, in a hardscrabble, deprived neighborhood. Life here is tough. For her, it's tougher.
"I want a face-lift," she said.
Her mother had surgery when she was a teenager in an effort to smooth her wrinkled face. But, Pollard said, it didn't help much. "My expectations were too high," she said. "I thought I would look like a normal kid ... but I didn't."
Her appearance has had a huge impact on her life, she said. She has low self-esteem, has never had a career and has suffered a string of abusive relationships.
"I don't want [Zara] ending up like me," she said. "Surrounding herself with seven, eight or however many kids just to feel loved. ... And she doesn't need to go from one man to another looking for something she'll never find."
When she's older, Zara said, she wants to be a beauty therapist. Her mother, a single parent who lives on benefits, is supportive.
"You always have hope and your dreams," Pollard said. "No one can take that away from you no matter how bad they treat you."
For now, Zara's dream, she said, is to walk down the street without people staring at her, to feel young again.