I thought I would weigh-in on the controversy surrounding Rosie’s interview with Chelsea Handler. I for one was not insulted by Rosie’s honesty. At least she was able to admit that she has ‘dwarf fear’ instead of acting like it doesn’t exist. In my life I have encountered people with ‘dwarf’ fear. You can tell by their eye contact and facial expressions that they would rather be running as fast as they can away from you rather than having to deal with a dwarf.
Dwarf fear is just having a fear of the unknown. When I lived in Pittsburgh, every time I would go into the local Dunkin Donuts you could hear jaws dropping and eyes bulging out the local’s heads. It was like time would stand still and I was the time keeper. Sometimes it was so weird that I was usually allowed to cut line so they can get me the hell out of there as quickly as possible. It was rather cool to have this power to move people in Dunkin Donuts especially on a cold busy morning. It was also rather insulting that these people who live 20 miles outside of a major metropolitan area never encountered a dwarf before.
Now dwarf fear isn’t limited to service people you encounter like the waitress that serves your meal or the plumber who can’t wait to get the hell out of your home as fast as he can. It can also happen to family friends. My mother-in-law had a neighbor who was terrified of us. She would run out of the house when she would hear our voices or see us come through the door. It started to be comical to me and my husband. Sometimes we would say ‘hello’ just to time how long it takes her to come up with an excuse to go home.
My mother-in-law denied what was going on when we asked her. She said that the neighbor just doesn’t want to intrude on our visit. My mother-in-law just sees life through rose colored glasses. She is one of those half full type of gal. I am more cynical than she is, especially when there is a party and the neighbor goes ‘Oh your son is here’ and then runs out the door.
What eventually got this neighbor over her fear was normalcy. Normalcy that she was able to relate one of her life experiences to our life. When we adopted Ashley and became parents something clicked. Parenthood was what she could relate to. She was lovely to our daughter.Soon after Ashley came, she started talking to us about parenthood. Eventually her fear was banished. She finally saw us in a light that she could understand. We were parents just like she. We had all the same issues with raising a child. We had a connection that lead to an understanding. Now when we visit, she talks our ears off about everything in her life! I think I liked the other way better. I kid you really I do.
What Rosie needs is some positive experiences with the dwarf community. If she can see we are just like everyone else, just short, her fear will go away. Human contact goes a long way in breaking down perception and stereotypes. All people need is to see you are a real person. A real person with the same problems and fears like they have. Normalcy is the key to breaking down the fear of the unknown.
Rosie come over to my house. We will have a blast! I make a mean spaghetti and meatballs. We can go shopping afterwards. I am sure after you meet me, you never again have ‘dwarf’ fear again.