I'm not proud of it. But I used to be afraid of "little people".* They creeped me out. Much like clowns do. And those Elf on the Shelf
And I realize how shitty a dwarf phobia sounds. Imagine, you say, if some skinny dude came up to you and said, "I used to have a fat chick phobia."
I get it. I really do.
But it doesn't change the fact that I used to freak out (on the inside) when a little person was around. Why? Did I think he or she might magically disappear and reappear somewhere close to me like a tricksy leprechaun? Did I think dwarfism was catching? No. It was totally an involuntary reaction.
I don't know why I developed a dwarf phobia. It's not like I was jumped by a posse of mini-thugs. (Although I did get "freaked on" by a dwarf at a dance club once. He looked a little like this.)
I watched Time Bandits like every other child of the '80s. Could my first experience with little people on the big screen have planted the seed? (And don't get me started on Oompa Loompas.) There was a tiny female dwarf who was popular with the guys in college (if you know what I mean). Maybe that (imagined) visual is what did it. Or maybe it was that episode of The Jerry Springer Show (What? Meemaw and I loved to watch that show together.) when a guy with no legs scooted after another guy for sleeping with his woman. He wasn't a dwarf, but he was little (due to the whole no legs thing). Could that staged spectacle have pushed me over the edge?
No, I'm pretty sure it's when my youngest uncle (only 10 years older than me) sent me a cleverly disguised link to midget porn as a prank.
I am happy to say that I don't have an aversion to little people anymore.
And I owe it all to reality TV.
It all started with a Little People, Big World marathon. I was recovering from lung surgery and living with Nature Boy in a hotel (while Tree Guy was supervising renovation work on our house to make it more lung-friendly). All there was to do was watch TV.
The longer I watched that show, the less averse I felt. The less weird or different they seemed to me. Then I watched some of The Little Couple. They were so cute!
The show that really kicked my phobia's butt was Pit Boss. I love that show!
In fact, don't tell Tree Guy, but I kind of have a crush on Sebastian.
*To the best of my knowledge, the medical term for a fear of little people is achondroplasiaphobia. If you do a Google search, you'll also find lollipopguildophobia listed as the name.
I'm pretty sure someone made that one up.