One might not think that being a little person has its advantages, but actually, it has its high points. No, no pun intended there. Since this week holds the LPA national conference, it’s a perfect time to talk about some of the more favorable moments that having dwarfism brings.
- Ducking under things:
- Kids’ prices
- Interaction with children
- Smaller sizes
- Sleeping on couches
- Books, TV and movies
How do you feel when you’re at work and need to plug your laptop in under the desk? While the rest of you moan and groan about getting under the table to grab the dropped fork or plug in the phone charger, it’s significantly simpler when you’re already low and don’t have to contort your body just to get in that little space. As an added bonus, such spaces are perfect for us to hide in if need be. Also, I often use this as a shortcut to navigate around or under the guide ropes which denote where people should be standing in line.
Sometimes we’re mistaken for children, and that’s annoying, but once in a while it works for us. When an admission fee is less for a child and the person at the door thinks I qualify, well, I’m not going to argue the price reduction. Sorry not sorry!
For many young kids, disability is a subject of great curiosity. They point and ask questions as we pass by, but often they’ll wander right up to a little person and strike up a conversation. Since we’re on their level physically, children often come to think of us as equals even though they understand we’re adults. For me, this has led to many games in hotel pools, because why not let out my inner child? We make great baby sitters, child care specialists and pre-k teachers for this reason.
Some people with dwarfism, like me, have short arms and legs but typical sized bodies, while others have small features in every sense. Either way, we have shorter sleeves, smaller shoes, etc. For packing, or laundry purposes, this can be rather useful. We have less to fold and find room for, making our clothing easier to manage.
People often complain that they don’t have enough legroom when flying. Well, for us with short legs, this is a little less of an issue. I’m not saying plane seats are all that comfortable, but I do enjoy not having leg cramps after a four-hour flight.
You know those moments where it’s late and your still at your friend’s come three A.M? For someone who’s height is around 4 feet, it’s easy just to lay down on the couch and crash. Literally, we can lay across it and still have space to stretch out, as long as we don’t try to roll over. This fact has come in handy quite a few times and quite a few ways in college and at conventions both.
There’s a lot of media which features little people. From reality TV shows like Little Women LA, to books with dwarf characters like Eragon, and movies like Harry Potter. Although none of these accurately portray the lives we lead, it opens up a dialogue which people connect with. Most disabilities don’t receive so much airtime, but the fact that the little people community does allows for plenty of room for discussion and education. Many people argue that media portrayal is a disadvantage, but I have found it far more helpful than harmful in the end.
As a last added bonus, I’m including what I believe to be the greatest advantage of all. I got involved in the Little People of America shortly after graduating high school and began attending events and conventions across the country. For me, LPA was a great way to meet others with dwarfism and learn about aspects of living with dwarfism. This sort of interaction was one that could never be found anywhere else and has been a great experience for me. To all those currently in San Fransisco, have fun!!!!
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