December 16 – Happy Birthday, Jyoti Amge

Posted on December 16, 2016

It's surely really tough to be the something-est person in the world. You know, the tallest, shortest, heaviest...It's much easier to be an average-sized person – because, for one thing, furniture and cars and amusement park rides and ready-wear clothing all fit you! 

But Jyoti Amge doesn't have that choice, so she might just as well embrace her specialness and fame, right?

Jyoti Amge turned 18 years old on this date in 2011, and she was officially declared the world's smallest woman, with an entry in the Guinness World Records. Amge is just 2 feet, 6 inches, tall – just 62.8 centimeters! The reason for her short stature is a kind of dwarfism called achondroplasia.

Amge, who lives in India, has been featured in a documentary, several TV shows, and in a wax statue at a Celebrity Wax Museum in India.

Of course, one of the marvelous things about something-est people being famous is that they can share with the rest of us important messages: 

“I don't like it if I am being held like a baby. If someone holds me normally, and I'm not being coddled, I feel much more comfortable.”

[I get mad when] someone annoys me by touching my hair or keeps touching me without permission.”

[We] can do the things that normal people can.”

The worst part about being so small is that I always have to rely on someone. I can't go anywhere on my own, so I'm always dependent. I can't run or walk too fast. If I was taller for a day, I'd just go off on my own independently.”

I am proud of being small.”

I feel grateful to be this size; after all, if I weren't small and had not achieved these world records, I might never have been able to visit Japan and Europe and many other wonderful countries.”

So, two basic things: 

(1) Jyoti wants to be treated normally. She may not be normal in size, but she is normal in needs and desires – including wanting to be in control of her own body, wanting to be taken seriously, wanting to be treated as an adult. 

(2) Don't pity her. She has challenges, and we can certainly empathize with them, but she also has benefits, and she is grateful for those benefits.

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