Seeing This Little Person Deal With Harassment Will Make You Reconsider How You Treat Strangers

don't look down on me

I’m sure you had plans for the day, but you’re going to have to put them aside for six minutes and fall in love with this stranger on the internet. His name is Jonathan Novick, he’s a filmmaker, he’s a little person, and he’s a total badass. Using a hidden camera that looks like a regular shirt button, Jon takes us with him as he goes out and about on an average day, giving us the chance to see the rudeness of strangers through his eyes.

“I moved to New York City about a year ago,” he tells us, “And although I consider it, ultimately, a good experience, it was made a lot more difficult because of my dwarfism.” Over footage of the city, Jon gives us some backstory from his childhood and educates us on how to respect people who look like him (for example: don’t use the word “midget” unless you’re cool with being an offensive asshole). He then goes on to show us some clips of how people react to him on a daily basis. And then you start sobbing.

While irritating, some of the reactions are innocent enough, like the man who compares him to the star of Little People, Big World. Others are just unfortunate, like the young kid who asks his mother “What is he?” Unfortunately, other reactions are downright awful. Jon gets harassed by passing men, people take photos of him when they think he isn’t looking, and one woman talks to him in a baby voice. It’s disturbing enough to make you hope his experiences are unique and rare, but you know they’re not.

Thankfully, Jon is willing to use his pain to help other people. I love this quote from the end of the documentary:

I don’t want to tell anyone what to do, or what to think or how to feel. Instead, what I’ll do is ask. I’ll ask that the next time you see someone who is different than you, think about what their day might be like. Think about all the events of their life leading up to that point. Think about their day. And think about what part of their day do you want to be?

Important stuff. I’m going to tuck that quote into my brain and keep it in mind in the future.

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    • Sara Steinfeld

      The is so well done. I just don’t understand why some people feel the need to harass and just be flat-out rude to people just based on their appearance (or anything else, for that matter).

    • loser_sneeze

      This is great. People say and do some of the most thoughtless/mean things but those behaviors are so often invisible to those who don’t experience them.

    • Samantha Escobar

      “And think about what part of their day do you want to be?”

      Perfect. I feel like people don’t realize that their 3-second side eye glares or eye rolls or snide remarks might be teensy parts of their own day, but to the person they’re making fun of or staring at, it’s a huge factor in how they feel and, sometimes, how they ultimately see themselves.

    • Josh

      so some people mistook him for a celebrity and he’s complaining…? dude, welcome to new york. you know how many different people take pictures of other people that they see in the city? and those people name calling are insane, they’re just crazy people on the streets of NYC. don’t take offense from them.

    • emilykwells2188

      That last line really tugged at my heartstrings. I think everyone has room to be kinder and I honestly will take that to heart – good advice.