#61 – Dwarfism and Bullying

Punam SaxenaUncategorizedLeave a Comment

 

9 March 2020

Dwarfism is a genetic or medical condition that allows a person to be short in stature. We may look at these individuals and see them as different, treat them differently.

Christophe Zajac-Denek, host of the podcast I’m Kinda a Big Deal, joins us in the studio this week to discuss his life as a dwarf and how he has overcome multiple surgeries to become a successful competitive surfer, an actor, and a podcaster. His podcast is about the unique lives of people affected by dwarfism. He interviews little people and we talk about the successes, the struggles, the funny, and the real day-to-day experiences we, as little people, face. His goal is to build a bridge between little people and the average height world.

He reminds us that regardless of our size, color, or any other discriminatory characteristic, we can accomplish anything we’d like.

His laughter and stick-to-it-ness will inspire you to keep focusing on your goals, regardless of what stands in your way.

He was born with Cartlidge Hair Hypoplasia and started seeing a dwarfism specialist at age 2. He’s had 2 reconstructive leg surgeries (ages 6, 16) and a spinal fusion (age 17, fused from T1-L4). I’m 4’4″ tall.

Went to college at Michigan State University.

Began working as a TV producer for local community stations.

Started a rock band in which I played drums. We toured the US and Europe for 6 years. Lots of press in Detroit and opened for Iggy Pop, Motion City Soundtrack, My Chemical Romance, Ok GO, and more.

Christophe left the band and moved to Hollywood to pursue music and ended up getting work in the acting/film industry as an actor/stuntman for various productions.

Notable productions I’ve worked on: Twin Peaks, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Oz: The Great And Powerful, Fresh Off The Boat, My Dinner With Herve, Insidious 4.

Listen to Christophe’s podcast here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/im-kind-of-a-big-deal/id1484411273

To learn more about dwarfism, check out this site: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dwarfism/symptoms-causes/syc-20371969

Time Stamps:
1:12 – Intro
3:27 – Little people have to grow up before anyone else
8:25 – How tall is Christophe?
9:15 – Friendships growing up
11:20 – Encountering people in the wild
14:08 – Children have no judgment
15:51 – Adult life and self-confidence
20:27 – Educate/re-educate parents
21:47  – I’m Kinda a Big Deal
24:01 – The ‘E’ words
26:49 – Judge someone based on their character
28:35 – Ally, Christophe’s special guest
30:05 – Punam’s Freshman story
32:24 – Christophe, the drummer
35:56 – Parting words of wisdom

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=31725704)

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