SOME THOUGHTS ON REALITY SHOWS ABOUT LITTLE PEOPLE
THIS WAS WAY LONGER THAN I INTENDED IT TO BE, I'M SORRY!!!!!! Shoutout to @zoe for the lovely conversation we had earlier that encouraged me to write this.
- •First things first, I am a little person. I have a type of dwarfism called achondroplasia and I am 4'2".My torso is the same as an "average" person but my arms and legs aren't proportional to it. Dinklage has achondroplasia as well. My Dad was a little person and my mom is average height. My brother is also little.
- •The only thing super different about me is that I can't reach shit and you may have to bend down to hear me in loud places.However, I am very loud and have a penchant for climbing so it's usually fine.
- •So, recently there has been an influx of reality shows about Little People: Little Women: LA, Little Women: NY, The Little Couple.They all have little in the title! So creative! In case you missed it: WE ARE SHORT!
- •I was asked to be a part of Little Women: LA in the very beginning stages. I thought about it a lot...I was really torn. It would have been awesome to have that income but I never wanted/thought about doing reality. After about a month of deliberation, they were getting ready to film the pilot and finally made me make up my mind.
- •I said no. They wanted to shoot the pilot at one of the other female LP's birthday party. I had never met her before and thought "why the fuck would I go to her birthday party?!"And that kind of answered every question I had had about doing this. I didn't know these women and if I did the show, I would forever be associated with them. Plus, I didn't want to subject any of my actual friends to this type of thing. And also, I have no business being on a reality show. I'm not very interesting. My talking head would say "yeah, so I'm going back to Chipotle for the second time today..."
- •And the more I thought about it, the more I questioned why it was even necessary to make this show. A lot of people will say...
- •AwarenessI have a lot of problems with the word awareness. I agree that it's insanely important to to make majorities "aware" of the problems that minorities face. If that doesn't happen, nothing will ever change. But I also think there are ways to do it that are tasteful and educational. And what does it even mean to bring "awareness" to an issue? Like, I'm very small in case you weren't aware!
- •When networks make a reality show, they're creating a spectacle. They're taking people who are probably somewhat normal, and making them look crazy.Little people are already seen as different enough. We are given very few, respectful portrayals in the media. Frankly, Dinklage is the only one that comes to mind right now. So, a reality show takes one of the few chances we're given to be represented and bastardizes it.
- •It also gives the impression that little people only hang out with other little people.Straight up, the only other little person I kick it with on a regular basis is my brother. I went to Little People of America conventions growing up and it was very cool. I made some friends, kissed some dudes, but ultimately realized I was friends with most of these people because we were short. It helped to have people to talk to about challenges, but we would have never been friends if we didn't share a genetic mutation.
- •See! Look at all my average height friends!I am very popular. Jkjkjkjk.
- •It also gives the impression that little people only ever date other little people.Never dated a little person in my life! But have had unsuccessful relationships with a number of average height guys!
- •Another issue I have is that this show may be the only time some people ever encounter little people.I don't know how many of us there are, but I'm sure there are some people who will go their whole lives without seeing an LP in "real life". These shows may be the only impression that they get. And I don't want their first impression of an LP to be a trashy reality show.
- •And more selfishly, I want people to stop asking me if I'm "that girl from that TV show." And then saying "are you sure??!" when I say no.Think I'd remember if I was!
- •I went on Ronan Farrow Daily and talked about this more if you're interested. The video is super embarrassing but I'm posting it cause this is a safe space!! http://on.msnbc.com/1QxAMmT