The Mirror Effect

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When the time comes for an adult little person to meet other little people for the first time, they can often experience a range of feelings from fear to relief in the form of anxiety. It was this moment that inspired Francine Boutin to write this text. As a little person herself, Francine knows this paradoxal moment well.

What is this odd feeling we feel when we see another little person? This uncomfortable feeling that makes us cross the street to avoid looking them in the eye? But despite our fear, we are strongly drawn to them. We want to walk behind them and watch them in secret. Like mirrors, other little people are a crude reflection of our own image: we see ourselves through them.

Even before we meet other little people, a little voice tells us to avoid such uncomfortable encounters at all costs. But what's hidden behind such discomfort? The difficulty in accepting ourselves? The unconscious refusal to associate with other people like us? The fear of What will we talk about? Or just plain embarrassment? Whatever the reasons, one thing is for sure: approaching other little people produces a mixture of emotions!

Is this why some little people are always hesitant to join an association like ours? I do not know if everyone shares my opinion, but if little people do not have the chance to meet other little people from birth, they will have more difficulty overcoming this psychological barrier later.

Going out and meeting other little people can feel threatening, but the accompanying reward is well worth it. First of all, it often helps us to see our own prejudices in the face of difference and overcome them. It is also an opportunity to speak with people who have had experiences similar to our own such as, accepting sometimes offensive attitudes of people around us, or being confronted every day with living in a world built for people of average height. We can also share ideas and ways to improve our quality of life. We especially learn to love ourselves for who we are and to appreciate the beauty in each person.

For me, the reward is invaluable. I find working with and accepting others encouraging and very comforting. I hope all little people can overcome their fear of meeting other little people and experience the benefits of the mirror effect. I sincerely believe this is an important step to take because it gives us the opportunity to see ourselves for even more than who we are.



© 2011 AQPPT - Translated by George Bravo and Judy Murphy