To celebrate Dwarfism Awareness Month 2019, I’m sharing some of the photographs from the ‘You’re Just Little’ exhibition which debuted in 2018. The exhibition shows the challenges, obstacles and societal assumptions that Dwarf people face on a daily basis.
THE STORY BEHIND THE PHOTOGRAPH
The photograph shows my coat hanging off what looks like a clothes hook in a changing room cubicle. It is, in fact, my coat hanging off the door lock of a changing cubicle in a Matalan clothes shop. I gave a reproachful look at the height of the lock. Looking around for a place to hang my coat that didn’t include the rather dusty floor. I sighed, the actual hangers in the changing cubicle were too high for me to reach, again.
As you can imagine, the experience results in the feeling of much frustration, claustrophobia and overwhelm which takes away from the original task – trying on clothes. The photograph shows how creative those of us with dwarfism have to be to move about our environments that average-height people take as a given to be able to use.
It’s another example where design does not fit all sized shapes in society. What would it take to add two rows of hangers for those of us who do not fit within the average measurements of society? Why not use the disabled cubicle? You may think. Well, it was being used on this occasion and sometimes it’s an instant decision of whether that disabled cubicle is that bit too far to walk to, especially if you’re already in pain, or being creative in using an average-height cubicle.
In her 2017 TED Talk, Sinéad Burke, articulates why design should include everyone.
FOLLOW THE PHOTOGRAPH’S STORIES THROUGHOUT DWARFISM AWARENESS MONTH
Each day I share an insight into the stories and the main themes that each of the photographs represents to help celebrate Dwarfism Awareness month.