A little person revolution is well underway. TLC plays host to numerous shows chronicling the lives of the little. Lifetime: Television for Women wanted in, and produced Little Women LA.” Clever! Surely, once A&E finds little duck hunters, bounty hunters or realtors, they’ll find a way to package and produce it—can’t wait! When I think of Bravo producing little housewives (fingers crossed), my giddiness is palpable.
Although I’m short, 5’3¾, I’m not an actual little person. I wondered what little people are made of; what makes them different from regular sized people and what functioning in the world is like for them.
To immerse myself in little person culture, I binge-watched as many little person shows as I could. Luckily, I also found a little person to have coffee with.
Let’s begin with my new little friend, Kelly, who has Achondroplasia. We were introduced by a mutual friend. She’s a swimmer and swims in Olympic type swimming pools, not wading or kiddie pools. She’s obsessed with the Giants, wearing bright colors and drinking Big Gulps (does this girl have a drowning fetish or what?!). Growing up, she devoured Judy Blume novels and related most to a broad called Deenie who wore a back brace for a good chunk of her life. I didn’t get the connection. Oh, well!
Some of the similarities between us were uncanny. We love dark humor. Surprisingly, she out-darked me, saying “If someone dies at a party, you know it’s just getting started.” I howled. We both drank coffee without incident. She drank hers with two hands, which I did in solidarity. She wears makeup. I don’t, but I know regular-sized women do because I’ve read magazines. We both pee sitting down, and, get this, our blood is red! We cut ourselves to double check.
Our time together was simply delightful and I learned so much! Little people are normal, they just happen to be smaller and dexterous in ways regular size people aren’t. Who knew?!
The next time you find yourself staring at a little person, stare yourself into a frenzy. They’ll stare right back at you with the same judgment and disdain.
You know, I wonder if Marc Cheery will consider penning Little Devious Maids?
Katie Schwartz is a comedy writer, producer and essayist, among other writerly things. She collects vintage tchotch, not bodies, which is surprising considering her obsession with death humor. You can catch her weekly column at Monkeybicycle and other print work on Huffington Post, Exquisite Corpse, or here. If you’re not bored to death, watch some of her produced work at FKR.TV, FunnyOrDie or on the YouTubes.