What is the politically correct term for dwarf?
“The next time you see someone who is different than you...think about all the events of their life leading up until that point. Then think about their day and think about what part of their day do you want to be.” | Photo credit: ©Katya Havok / Adobe Stock
What is the politically correct term for dwarf or little person?
Jonathan Novick answers your questions – what is the politically correct term for a dwarf? – through the lens of a day in the life of a little person in NYC.
Jonathan Novick is a dwarf. And every day, he is gawked at, photographed by strangers, harassed, and mocked.
Novick says he doesn’t want to “tell anyone what to do or what to think or how to feel.” Instead, he says he hopes by showing the world a glimpse into what his life is like, that others will think twice whenever they encounter someone unlike themselves.
Edited Transcript: “what is the correct term for dwarf”
Jon: Here I am, Dad! Here I am!
Dad: Yeah there you are! Hello!
Jon: I don’t think there is a certain point in anyone’s life where they grow up. I think that we’re growing up all the time and we always will be.
My name is Jon Novick, I am 22 years old, and I am a dwarf with Achondroplasia.
Before I was even born, my mother studied genetics in graduate school. Specifically, she had an interest in Achondroplastic dwarfism that she did a study on.
When are the terms “dwarf,” “little person,” and “person of short stature” commonly used?
What is the correct term for dwarf or little person?
The terms “person of short stature,” “little person,” and “dwarf” are commonly used in the United States to refer to a person with a medical condition called “dwarfism.”
Although preferred terms vary by person and community, according to the Little People of America website, many people who experience dwarfism prefer the term “little person.”
Unless physical stature is of relevance in a conversation, simply using a person’s name is appropriate.
Achondroplastic dwarfism is the kind of dwarfism that I have.
So when I was born she had a lot of extra information and she had a lot of books to help her parent me.
The definition of dwarfism is the abnormal under-development of the body characterized predominantly by extreme shortness of stature.
Now there’s a lot of different kinds of dwarfism, as I mentioned before, and the most common kind is the kind that I have, which is Achondroplasia.
Achondroplasia is characterized by disproportionately short limbs, a normal-sized torso, large head and with a depressed nasal bridge, right here, a small face and stubby hands as well as the curvature of the spine.
The correct term for dwarf is a dwarf or little person. One or the other is totally fine, just not midget.
A lot of times the word midget is thrown around as the term to describe someone who has dwarfism and not only is that incorrect but it’s incredibly offensive.
- Is midget offensive - YES
- What is the correct term for midget? - dwarf or little person
- What is the proper term for midget - dwarf or little person
- What is the PC term for midget? dwarf or little person
- Is dwarf politically correct? Not in the pejorative sense, but in the sense that is one of the two terms little people want to be used to describe them (If you must)
- Dwarf vs little person: what is the preferred term? Both work
Why are people rude to little people?
I moved to New York City about a year ago and although I consider it ultimately a good experience, it was made a lot more difficult because of my dwarfism. (video flashback) I hit it!
I grew up in a small town, and I would have negative encounters every now and then but for the most part, I had friends and I had family who supported me. The school wasn’t a nightmare and I just was able to have a pretty average childhood.
A year ago when I moved to the city I noticed that there were a lot of people. There were a lot, a lot of people, and because of that, I had a lot of encounters. I would have people that’d take pictures of me on the subway. I would have people that would harass me and just all of these things.
All of these almost daily occurrences and they would continue happening, continue happening until it got to a point where I just got fed up with it.
I wanted to stop telling people what happened to me and I wanted to start showing people what happened to me. I wanted to show everyone what a day in my life was like.
I was fortunate enough to be able to use this camera, which is actually known as a button camera because the lens I’m going to be using is so tiny it has a button cover-up that I’m going to be slipping through a shirt that will be completely unnoticeable.
So we’re all packed up, the camera is already and going. I’m going to turn it on right now. It’s rolling. We’re going to go see what we can capture. So let’s head out.
Small Child: What is he?
Person at Table: Have you been on TV?
Jon: I have not.
Person at Table: Do you know who you look like?
Person at Table: Have you ever seen that show Little People Big World?
Person at Table: Yeah. You look like the son, man.
Jon: I do?
Person at Table: Yeah.
Jon: Why is that? I just do? Do you see a lot of little people?
Person at Table: Man, I’m from Oklahoma.
Jon: Oh yeah.
Random Person: Little midget. Big man, big penis.
Jon: What? What did you say?
Random Person: Hey short stuff!
Person at Table: I hope I didn’t offend you.
Jon: Oh no. No, it’s okay. No, I appreciate that. No, it’s fine.
Person at Table: Can I get your picture?
Random Person: You from one of the shows with the little people?
Jon: Not that I know of. No, I’m not.
Random Person: Oh, you look like that [inaudible 00:05:14], the guy!
Jon: I don’t want to tell anyone what to do, or what to think, or how to feel, but instead, what I’ll do is I’ll ask.
I’ll ask that the next time you see someone who is different than you think about what their day might be like.
Think about all the events of their life leading up until that point. Then think about their day and think about what part of their day do you want to be.
Jonathan Novick, the author of "What is the politically correct term for dwarf?" specializes in the creation of concise, targeted, and inclusive communication to diverse communities in both the public and private sectors.