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 by: Erin P.

As someone with dwarfism, I certainly feel paranoid when out in public and to some extent more vulnerable. But it is not my size that makes me feel this way, it's the way people react towards my size. Every outing will involve stares, name calling and even the odd photograph. Whether it is standing at a set of traffic lights or sitting in a bar, people have taken out their mobile phones and clearly aimed them towards me - as if that is perfectly acceptable.

After being photographed several times I admit I do get suspicious when someone pulls out there phone in front of me. I will try and hide as I don’t want a picture of me to be a source of amusement for anyone. I will also purposely avoid certain places where I know I am more likely to receive unwanted attention. When someone starts pointing and yelling at me, because they have seen a 'real life dwarf', I certainly feel as if everyone else is looking at me. That feeling of vulnerability is because I know I cannot fight back.

It is also these daily reactions that do not give me a great sense of self. How is being treated like an outcast meant to make one feel? Before going out I can dress smartly, get my make up right and feel good, but as soon as somebody stares at me or nudges their partner to point me out to them, that feel good is gone.

 As a dwarf I am use to being stared at, laughed at, called names and I have also learnd to get use to being photographed. That doesn’t mean though that when it happens it does not get me down, it does. It just seems like a normal part of being a dwarf now, as much as being unable to reach a high cash point, although it should not be. It makes me feel like I have no control over how other people treat and perceive me in society and that the freak show mentality still exists.


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