Though she be but little, she is FIERCE

October 28, 2022

You’re not special and neither am I.
“God only lets things grow until they are PERFECT – some of us didn’t take as long as others”
…God had no role in my own personal and physical growth and development. When my bones *thought* they had reached their full potential, I knew they hadn’t and to me, that wasn’t perfect. So, I guess if he did have a role in it all, you could say I threw a wrench (literally) into his “plan” for me.
Although I physically stopped growing by my own design a decade ago, I still have a lot of personal growth to go through as I enter the last chapter of my 20s and journey into my 30s.
For almost three decades, these not so *cute* phrases and unsolicited compliments have never made me feel fierce, mighty, perfect, or special.  If anything, they’ve only ever made me feel like I’m seen as less than and the ‘compliment’ being given is really just to make the one giving it feel better for metaphorically patting me on the back or head and I know it’s not just me that feels this way.
The comparison of big and small has always bothered me. “Small but…” is, to me, the same as a compliment followed by a “but” which we know is never a compliment.  the phrases alone are condescending and juvenile in my opinion.
Then comes the whole “you’re so special” and “having dwarfism makes you so special” if we want to stay on brand for dwarfism awareness, it’s safe to say that those phrases make my face turn green.
I was never and have never been lesser or greater of a person or more special than my siblings and peers just because I have dwarfism…if you think my having dwarfism is what makes me special – it’s not. and if I’m being blunt (I am)…to those who have dwarfism or who are the parents/adults to a child with dwarfism, you/your child’s diagnosis doesn’t have to be the only thing that makes them “special.” I can’t imagine what my friends throughout elementary and college and even today would think if I constantly told them “I have dwarfism because I’m special” because everyone told me so. Does that mean they aren’t special then because they don’t have dwarfism? No, it doesn’t. Do you remember the big purple dinosaur teaching us that, “everyone is special, everyone in his or her own way”? Let’s not forget that – ever.
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me “you’re so special” because they thought I needed my ego filled and/or they just needed to do their good deed of the day by telling someone who, to them, looked like they needed that boost of confidence, then I’d have enough money to cover the medical co-pays I pay for in order to take care of and manage this diagnosis that makes me so fierce, mighty, perfect, and special.
My conclusion and advice are to just be cautiously aware that everyone with dwarfism is just like everyone else without dwarfism – we aren’t special because of our diagnosis. like you, we’re special for reasons that aren’t just a result of our genetic makeup.
Chandler Crews
Chandler Crews
Chandler was born with achondroplasia, and started the limb lengthening process when she was 16. Visit her website, and follow her on social media – Instagram

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