Being a little person, measuring just 112cm, was never a worry for Jacqui Barrett.

But when she was told halfway through her pregnancy her daughter might have the same condition, Barrett was consumed with guilt.

The Cambridge mum was born with pseudoachondroplasia, a form of dwarfism.

She is speaking out for Dwarfism Awareness Month this October in the hope her daughter, Nashyn-Ella, grows up in a world defined not by what you see, but what you feel.

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"Regardless of what I equip her with, we are exposed to some cruelty in life.

"I'd like her to be seen for who she is inside and out and both interpreted as beautiful. I like to believe we're more advanced than we used to be."

Jacqui Barrett is 112cm while her 14-year-old son towers at 175cm and is still growing. Her daughter may have the same kind of dwarfism Barrett has. Photo / Supplied
Jacqui Barrett is 112cm while her 14-year-old son towers at 175cm and is still growing. Her daughter may have the same kind of dwarfism Barrett has. Photo / Supplied

Nashyn-Ella was suspected to have the condition when Jacqui was 22 weeks' pregnant. The specialist said her legs and arms were smaller than 95 per cent of children at that point in gestation.

Now 2 months old, Nashyn-Ella can't be diagnosed until she is 6 months, which is when any distortion in her limbs will become obvious.

People stereotyping or assuming Barrett is weak are her biggest annoyances and she loves to prove them wrong. This has motivated her to pursue a successful career in business communication, publish a book about her life and go into schools to educate the children about being different.

Apart from extended pedals in her car and lots of footstools around her house, Barrett, 40, doesn't live that differently from everyone else. She said the only time she feels little is when people point it out.

"People say it must be hard reaching things. Anything on the third shelf and above doesn't exist in my world I don't even consider it. But I've got no problem asking for help. I just say 'can i borrow your long arm?'."

"I don't like it when people think just because little I'm an easy target; I'm quite the opposite.

"I think they feel they can get away with saying things without me reacting or standing up for myself. They get a shock when I do."

Barrett cites her son Justus as a huge inspiration in her life. The 14-year-old doesn't have his mum's condition and stands at a lanky 175cm. He wants to pursue a basketball career.

"I breed giants," Barrett joked.

But among the humour, Barrett is determined to break stereotypes for little people.

"My whole life is Dwarfism Awareness Month. I might not wave banners, but everything I do I focus on being a strong role model for little people."

Little People NZ spokeswoman Loren Savage said there were more than 200 types of dwarfism and the group, which has about 100 members, aims to raise awareness.

Game of Thrones actor Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister, famously said "dwarves are still the butt of jokes. It's one of the last bastions of acceptable prejudice."


Savage agreed: "Society has a long way to go when it comes to acceptance and understanding.

"This is also about saying we live average lives, working, having families, studying and travelling."