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The Smallest Girl in the World

14-year-old Jyoti Amge stands 1 foot 11 inches tall and weighs 11 pounds!
She has a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia and won't grow any taller than her current height.

Due to her size, Jyoti has to have clothes and jewellery made for her. She sleeps in a tiny bed and uses special plates and cutlery to eat, as normal-sized utensils are too big.

Despite this, she goes to a regular school in Nagpur, central India, where she has her own small desk and chair, and her classmates treat her like any other student.

Jyoti is a celebrity in her hometown, and will soon release a musical album. She hopes to be a Bollywood actress someday. Link -via the Presurfer

It's striking how India treats children and adults with deformities, genetic disorders or birth defects with such reverence. The girl born with extra arms and legs, the girl born with two faces -- they don't hide them away at all. They rally with them. The are revered for differences many times. Just very different from Western thinking, it seems.
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I know that no one wants to hear or see someone say how cute she is.. I am not trying to be condescending at all by saying that. But she is absolutely adorable and seems to have a great head on her shoulders!
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@ cherismo

I really agree with what your saying about how the Indian culture reveres the "deformed." That was my first thought as well and I think its really great. In the west, children with untreatable deformed features are treated as monsters many times. We ccould learn a lot from India.
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That's incredible, but I wonder if she'll be able to keep that same sunny outlook on life when she gets older and two of the life-changing aspects of adulthood are denied her based purely on the physics of her size - sex and being able to hold your child.
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I've seen this story floating around for awhile now, but I think it's time to set a few things straight.

Jyoti Amge is not 'The Smallest Girl in the World', as the blogosphere reports.

The original article indicates she is the smallest girl in India. But even that is highly suspect. At 35 inches in height, she is already taller than most adult primordial dwarfs. Typically, and historically, little people with achondroplasia are not the smallest of people.

The use of the word 'girl' is also misleading and in no way official. Official records pertaining to height are not made until adulthood. One could easily claim the a newborn baby girl is 'The Smallest GIRL in the World.

If we are going by 'girl', I can think of five young ladies smaller than Jyoti Amge, right off the top of my head. Kenadie Jourdin-Bromley immediately comes to mind. She was featured on Neatorama some time ago.

http://www.neatorama.com/2007/09/17/the-littlest-angel/

It's likely that the 'tiny title' was used in one article to generate interest and it is now being repeated as fact,. She is not the smallest girl in the world, but is still a remarkable human being.
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I don't think she is the smallest, but that's okay!
I find it fascinating that in India many people born with unique or rare physical qualities are practically worshipped. Here, in America, they are made fun of until their parents have no choice but to homeschool and shelter them.
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It's stories like this that make me wonder what I would do in that situation. Would I have the same positive attitude? Would I be fortunate enough to be surrounded by people who would love me for who I am? It really helps me to look at people that have deformities in a high regard. To be average is a struggle. Imagine how hard it would be to be EXTREMELY different.
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"Yaaah, ha-ha! I stole the baby, I stole the baby, ha-ha! Yah! I took the baby from the Dakini while he was taking a pee pee!"
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While I suppose everyone is correct that India is generally more accepting of physical abnormalities than here in the West, I don't think things are quite so bad here as some have portrayed. In my high school, there were a couple of students with quite severe birth defects. While they clearly had an immensely difficult time socially, I never saw or could have imagined other students harassing them - it was understood that such teasing was out of bounds. I'm sure other readers can provide contrary anecdotes, but I'm only pointing out that attitudes have transformed greatly in the West over the past few decades and things are not as they were in the middle ages. Consider:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiSuyuOOBR8

Shows such as Oprah, etc. regularly celebrate the triumphs of people with physical challenges; newspapers are full of such feel-good stories. I wish this girl the best of luck.
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@ roger

I don't think that the west chases them down with sticks and pitchforks a la the Hunchback of Notre Dame (anymore at least.)

I do think there is more of a tendency to try and normalize them or ignore the handicap or difference. The essential difference is tolerating versus worshiping.

Working in special education, I've never seen a "normal" person harass one of my "special" students. But I can't count the number of times they've been outright ignored.
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It's a sweeping generalization to say that "the West" treats people deformed people any differently, as much as it's a sweeping generalization to say that Indians "worship" them as gods.

At least we let people kiss in public.
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Dunno what dwarfism disorder she has, but it's not achondroplasia. Her head/body are proportionate, which is NOT typical of achondroplasia (who have large heads, and short arms/legs in proportion to height http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achondroplasia). Perhaps primordial dwarfism or one of many many other disorders.

In addition, if the measurements in the article are correct (1'11"= 23 inches), she is indeed very tiny, not the nearly 3 feet that JTPednaud calculates. I am not familiar with specific heights of other very small little people (like Kenadie noted above), but the young woman is indeed among the smallest in the world is my guess, though I agree that "records" are not established until adult stature is attained.

Good for her for being so (apparently) well-adjusted to her size and life, though I'm not sure anyone can make that judgment based on a single short article in a newspaper.

-ed
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@roger
In my small town in North Carolina, kids are still very mean, no matter what the media portrays. It seems that the students in the high school I teach in are nice to the students who were born with things such as down's syndrome, but if a kid has crossed eyes, orthapedic shoes, etc., they are treated horribly.
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I'm from India and it sure is wonderful to read something like this. However to say that people with deformities, etc are more accepted in India would be a hasty generalization. Our newspapers are awash with stories of mentally handicapped children locked away in tiny rooms for decades. Scores of little children work in construction sites, chemical factories and as sex workers. 50% of India's children aged 6-18 have no access to education. It's not a rosy picture. No sir!
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Maybe it's the perception of that picture with her school mates, but if she's only 2 ft tall (ok 1 inch short of that) and only reaches the knees of those other girls, then they must all be 6 feet tall!!!

Either way, she's cute as a button and has a great attitute toward life. I'm only 5 feet tall and generally hate it. Shows how shallow I am!!!:)
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