Showing the World That Little People Can Lead Big Lives
It’s not the plot of “Little Couple,” the newest reality show on TLC, that is extraordinary, but rather the stars. The show centers on Bill Klein and Jen Arnold whose dwarfism is secondary to the daily trials of being newlyweds and building a life together.
According to The Little People of America, there are an estimated 300 types of dwarfism. Jen, also known as Dr. Jennifer Arnold, was born with spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia, or SED, in which a random genetic mutation causes abnormal collagen formation. This led to her dwarfed stature; she stands 3 feet, 2 inches.
Arnold, a pediatrician, neonatal specialist and assistant professor of pediatrics, was determined to live a full, productive life despite her size.
“Everyone has to make an individual choice of what is the right career path for them, but it is hard when people choose roles that are primarily perpetuating stereotypes.”
She has more than succeeded in finding a way to participate in the world on her own terms. Entering medical school she decided to specialize in other small people – the littlest babies in the neo-natal unit.
When children ask her why she is different, she explains that some people are made tall, some are short and she happens to be really little. “Children usually accept that and move on.”
According to Vitals, Jennifer received her medical degree at John Hopkins University and completed an internship in pediatrics at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She is presently the Medical Director of The Pediatric Simulation Center in Texas Children’s Newborn Center as well as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine.
Fans of “Little Couple” can expect to be inspired and entertained as they watch Bill and Dr. Jen move to a new city, buy a home and contemplate starting a family as they negotiate the usual ups and downs newlyweds face.