Why is it so OK to rip on short people, but it wouldn't be OK if it were making fun of race, sexuality, gender, or disability? I think we are so dehumanized to a level that people don't think we see or hear these insults and are somehow invisible to it all.
This dehumanization manifests itself in a lot of different ways. It can be someone asking something as seemingly innocent to them as 'How do you drive?' or 'Is your boyfriend short like you?' to seeing grown adults saying they are creeped out by midgets, or straight-up leaving rooms if a little person enters. Yes, this has really happened.
I have had people leave or not enter a room I'm in because they're afraid of me. I once had a grown woman run from me when introduced to me at a show. I later asked her why, and she said it was because she had seen the film Leprechaun as a kid. It's so irrational and silly. Would they fear someone, say, 6in shorter than them? Probably not. So why are they afraid of us?
Do you find the roles that little people get in film/TV/clubs empowering?
[They're] largely exploitative, for sure, with very few exceptions. I thought it was cool when a show like Little People, Big World came around and showed the day-to-day lives of little people and really normalized our experience in an important way. We have jobs, families, and homes just like anyone else. Then you have most other things that aren't quite as kind, where we are the butt of some joke and marginalized to a stereotype such as being creepy, drunk, wild, or OK to literally toss or pick up.
Would you recommend exotic dancing to other little people?
Yes and no. You do have to have a thick skin. Don't do it if you can't take the fact that people will leer at you, run from you, say you have weird feet, treat you like a fetish, lean on your head for a photo. Do it if you really want to perform and entertain.
I would love to see more little entertainers on the scene who take pride in creating a show and not just furthering the stereotypes we so often see in the media. We can all rise above that and collectively elevate ourselves as a respected group of entertainers and not just being the token midget at a party.
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