Category Archives: a big little life

let’s do it for your 50th, rosie!

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Dear Rosie,

TWEET.  TWEET.  Okay, so it’s obvious by reading Twitter that you realize people are upset with you. And I’m REALLY trying here to give you the benefit of the doubt.  You see, I read your books.  Find Me and Celebrity Detox are two of the most raw and insightful memoirs I’ve ever read.  I liked “Nice Rosie,” “Crafty Rosie,” “Passionately Political Rosie,” “Stand Up For What You Believe In Rosie”…even “Flinstones Rosie.”  I didn’t even hate “The View Rosie.”  I liked that you were seeming to come back to American television with more balance, temperance and graciousness, as demonstrated through the OWN network.  I don’t think you’re an innately hateful person, I think you shared a fear that you feel awkward about.  It probably wasn’t the best idea to share this on television, but you did, the cat’s out of the bag. So now, let’s deal with it.  And I hear the people screaming and calling you names, which will never justify our cause.  People are justifiably angry, but they ruin their entire argument when they result to name-calling and demonizing you.  And commenting on your appearance or your family is just uncool and off-limits.

  • Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence. -Robert Frost
  • If you lose your temper, you’ve lost the argument. -Proverb

So that’s what we agree on.  But Rosie, oh Rosie, when you open a bag like the one you did, you can’t run from the ramifications.  You want “us LP’s” to just quiet down because “you’re done”?

But here’s where it all gets a little iffy.  Concerning.  Beyond frustrating.  Okay I’m going to use a feeling word here and I feel really angry.  You can’t just expect “us” to “sense your heart” in 140 characters or less. This is Twitter.  It’s not really meant for something, a discussion, this profound.  You didn’t start the conversation on Twitter, you started it with the most powerful culture-maker in America: television.  And the myth that I can just “spread your apology around” to an entire disability group, to an entire population in America, is absurd.   I can’t just get on my phone, which is not miniature, and call up “all my peeps” and say, “Hey Rosie said ‘she’s sorry’ on Twitter.”  I mean, I live in a big world, not to mention, most of my friends are average-sized and were equally offended.  But that’s not even the real issue.  The real issue is, had you heard something like what you said stated about any other minority group, you’d have handled this way differently.  But it’s okay, because Little People are the last minority group where it’s okay, perfectly acceptable actually, to be openly made fun of.

Here’s where we can get agree – your mentioning of “that little person who won the Emmy AND the Golden Globe” Peter Dinklage and the importance of learning about Martin Henderson.  That’s where the real stuff of this life comes to the forefront and all of the stupidity on Twitter can fall away.  Here’s a real human being who got thrown by a bunch of drunken idiots and will now spend the rest of his life suffering.  But here’s the kicker, until we address “dwarf-phobia,” face it head-on in all it’s ugly glory – warts and all – things like what happened to Martin Henderson will continue to happen.

Because I guarantee you, if you had said what you said about the LGBT community, the medically-obese, people with Down’s Syndrome, the hearing-impaired, black people, anyone else — American media would have had a field day.  You’d have the NAACP, the Human Rights Campaign, GLSEN, the Special Olympics and about every American media channel speaking up.  Because they know, that angry consumers means less advertisement dollars.  But since it’s “perfectly acceptable” to make fun of Little People and there’s seemingly no dollars attached, everybody’s quiet.

I don’t want you to feel ashamed that you have a phobia.  I want you to face it head-on.  On your show.  In a real way.  Because I’m only almost 30, but I’ve learned a little something with age.  You have to face what you fear.  You’re months shy of 50.  If you still find it okay within yourself to be afraid of Little People, you have got to question your stalwart devotion to inclusiveness for everybody.  Think of it as a “Happy 50th Birthday gift” to yourself.  To no longer be afraid of something.  To accept your fear, to package it up as something “awkward that you feel uncomfortable about” makes it pretty.  So let’s tear the paper off and get to the bottom of it.  You can do it!  I believe you can. I mean, girl, I was a part of the NO H8 campaign and I’ve got “nothing to do with it” or so they say on paper.  But I’ve got everything to do with it.  Because the marginalization of ANY people group directly affects me.  Because I’ve got to clean up my side of the street first.  I’ve got to see where I’m a part of the problem and not part of the solution and do something about it.  And for me, that meant standing up for another minority group and making sure I begin to truly wrap my head around injustice as a social institution.

  • I’m for truth, no matter who tells it. I’m for justice, no matter who it’s for or against. -Malcolm X
  • Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. Men often hate each other because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they cannot communicate; they cannot communicate because they are separated. -MLK Jr.
  • In the beginning there was only a small amount of injustice abroad in the world, but everyone who came afterwards added their portion, always thinking it was very small and unimportant, and look where we have ended up today. -Paulo Coelho

So Rosie, what do you think?  It’s something pretty cool that you can do to celebrate your 50th birthday!  I’ll make you a really good Funfetti birthday cake – and I can’t even eat flour!

Love,

Jen

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more to come…

Video

I’m still on Cloud 9 on what this means for the disabled community in terms of the media! I’m going to post a video response soon, but until then, celebrate with me!

letting go: a hiatus from social media

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I’m nearing my two year mark of living in LA and as fun and amazing as it’s been–it’s also been an intense, cross-cultural experience.

Having recently spent a few months performing in a celebrity hotspot, while simultaneously teaching full time, thus carrying an 85 hour per week workload combining the two — I’m desperate to get my bearings again. For me, this means stopping the madness of the 24/7 celebrity-obsessed warp speed of media barragement. I can’t even drive home without passing a premiere, paparazzi waiting outside Katsuya and 15 huge billboards telling me who’s made it and who hasn’t. A simple stop at a coffee shop inevitably leads to overhearing a manager fight with their assistant and a PR agent flirting up some tabloid rep on the phone.

I need to breathe again. To pause. To reflect. To let go of the anxiety and pressure. I came here to do great work, to hone my craft, not rerun the highschoolesque rat race of “keeping up with the Jones’ career.”  So I am taking a break to refocus.

What does this mean? It means letting go of the pressure to always network and feeling guilty for sleeping. It means I really don’t need to check Deadline.com daily, always aware of whose pilot just got picked up.

And it means a one-month fast from social networking. I have 2 1/2 weeks left.  I’m praying for this be a time of reflection of growth.  And healing.

Letting go…

sneak peek: get loco

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update:

The official music video for “Go Loco” is finally here…

originally published march 2011:

Just a super quick update to give all you readers (my Aunt Katie?) a sneak peek of the music video I just shot this past night for LA Lakers all-star, Ron Artest called “Get Loco” featuring Taz, George Lopez and Fat Joe.

We can play a game called “Where’s Waldo: Jen Edition” and see if you can spy me in the sneak peek by ESPN.  Stay tuned, I’ll let you know when the  actual music video drops.

panic! at the disco video shoot

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A couple weeks ago, I was hired to act in Panic! at the Disco’s newest music video/short film entitled: “The Overture!”  It was such a fun and memorable shoot.  Running on cobblestone streets at Universal Pictures Studio Lot 27 in high heels during a Los Angeles hailstorm.  Thanks so much Brendon and Spencer!  The concept was epic amazeballs.