I’m afraid the majority of this series has passed me by as I’ve had other things to deal with over the last few weeks, but I managed to catch the first episode of Channel 4’s Seven Dwarves, which was apparently made by the same people who made My Gypsy Wedding.
For some reason this didn’t fill me with hope for the show. I’d read the press releases for the show and it says it attempts to highlight the challenges faced by people with restricted growth. My first reaction to this is why the hell call the programme Seven Dwarves and why the hell film the show’s participants in the one setting that people with dwarfism are most identified with??? Talk about reinforcing current stereotypes Channel 4! Could it have not been titled something a bit more challenging for the viewer? A look at how short stature people are portrayed in theatre and on TV? Then again, this is the broadcaster that brought us Big Brother and needless to say I’ve been steaming at the ears just about the title.
It really gets me that restricted growth people have very few roles in mainstream media and when we are, we are portrayed as mythical creatures to be either feared or revered or as characters for pantomime and to me, while I get Channel 4 is trying to highlight that we are human just like everyone else, I feel like the programme is being fed to the viewer in a way that the production company assumes people will be able to digest in through current prejudices and stereotypes.
Enough of me ranting, to be fair, my only main complaint about the first episode was that there was too much bad language. And I was so uncomfortable at seeing other people with restricted growth dressing up as Ompah Lumpas and miniature versions of major characters. But hey, who’s the one making a living from what God has given them? I’ve got my bets on who is having the last laugh.
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