Written by Zain Meghji
New York is a big city, and the sheer size of it can be overwhelming for anyone. Now imagine what it feels like if you are a little person. Jonathan Novick, 22, has achondroplasia, the most common form of dwarfism.
Sharing a definition of dwarfism, Novick says it is "the abnormal underdevelopment of the body characterized predominantly by extreme shortness of stature." He adds, "The term is dwarf or little person, one or the other is totally fine — just not midget ... not only is that incorrect, but it's incredibly offensive."
Novick came to New York City about a year ago. He made a short film about his experience and posted it to YouTube on Aug. 7. In less than a week, it's racked up more than 69,000 views.
He wanted to share this video so that instead of telling people about his condition and his life, he could start showing them.
In May 2013, he participated in a different film that also tells his story.
In the more recent project, he uses footage from a hidden camera disguised as a button on his shirt to show us a day in his life: his perspective dealing with mistaken identity and people snapping photos of him on the sly.
This is the question he poses to the viewer: "The next time you see someone who is different than you, think about what their day might be like, think about all of the events of their life leading up to that point … and think about what part of their day do you want to be."
What did you learn from Don't Look Down on Me?
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