Whenever I think of how to live my life as a Little Person at twenty years old, I think of an American proverb that says, “Don’t judge a man until you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.” Especially in today’s society, I find us making assumptions so quickly that it often creates a different picture.
Some days, I can go the whole day without being reminded that I am different making some days easier to shake off than others. The hard days encounter rude, inconsiderate people who say not so nice things and even try to take pictures of me. I want to share a little story with you of when my friend Rebecca and I attended a Luke Bryan concert.When we arrived at the concert, our first stop was the bathroom where the stares already began. Nothing new, it’s just a part of life. When we went to stand in line waiting to go into the concert venue, we noticed two people take our picture. Unfortunately, this happens more than you would think and we didn’t expect anything different here. Ignore it, ignore it. There’s no use here in creating a scene. But after a few people’s comments, creating a scene was the least of our worries.
That night, we met a couple of people we won’t be keeping in contact with. One man told us that we were the sexiest ladies he has ever seen without even taking a look at our faces. Another man asked to take a picture with us. After politely telling him no, he told us that we were discriminating against him and all other people for not letting them take a picture with us. He then asked for a hug and we did it to make him go away. Then, another stranger also asked for a hug and people began to take their iPhones out waiting to see what might happen next.
Now I will definitely say that this was one of the worst stories I have. Thankfully, a typical story would be a couple people pointing and staring or overhearing someone say, “Look, it’s a midget.” No matter the severity of it, these things do happen and awareness should be brought attention to it.
Despite the comments, stares and unexpected photos, I never want to feel someone’s pity for the life that I live, because I live a pretty great one. I am mostly able to get by with a little help from my friends. And when I say a little, I actually mean much more than that. I would never be able to imagine the amount of support that I have received because of this month. I cannot count the amount of people wanting (and wearing) Dwarfism Awareness bracelets, posting about it on Facebook, and just showing their love for it. I could not ask for more.
I honestly believe that a majority of these stories happen because people are simply not aware. So I created a little Dwarfism Awareness 101 lesson that highlights the main points I think everyone should know.
- You should never call someone with dwarfism a midget otherwise known as the “m” word. Midget is a word that was used years ago when we were used as entertainment.
- Dwarfism, simply put, is someone of small stature. It’s not a disease and there is no cure. Currently, there are over 200 types of dwarfism where achondroplasia is the most common type.
- Every 1 in 25,000 births a baby with dwarfism is born to average height parents.
- When two dwarfs have a child, there is a 25% chance that the baby will be average-height, 50% chance that the baby will be born with dwarfism, and 25% chance that it will be born with double dominancy. Double dominant is where the dwarfism gene is passed on by both parents and the baby usually does not live past the age of one.
Like I said, this is the month of awareness. I hope that you found something interesting in this, and if you did, tell someone because they probably will too. For more information, I encourage you to check out the Little People of America’s website.
October is Dwarfism Awareness Month where we hope to do just that. My hope is that we all treat people how we want to be treated.