Genre: Reality TV
TV Rating: TV-G
Other Choices: Little People, Big World, 19 Kids and Counting, Texas Multi Mamas
Available On: Online
Common Sense Says: Dwarf siblings offer insight into living differently.
Common Sense Rates It:
Parents need to know
Parents need to know that Big Tiny is a family-friendly reality series featuring a pair of adult siblings with an extreme form of dwarfism. The show contains positive messages about overcoming obstacles and facing challenges, as well as about the value of family support. Because of the extreme form of the pair's dwarfism, younger children may find themselves a little confused about their age and activities, and might need a little guidance to understand the nature of their condition.
- Families can talk about dwarfism. What causes it? Did you know that there are different kinds of dwarfism? Aside from being extremely small, what are some of the other effects primordial dwarfism has on the body? (You might want to check out TLC's helpful online FAQ for information about some of these issues.)
- What are some of the common TV and film representations of dwarves? What kinds of misunderstandings and/or stereotypes have these representations created about what dwarfism is? Do reality shows like this one contribute to or help eliminate some of these generalizations?
What's the story?
The reality series BIG TINY follows the daily lives of the world's smallest siblings, 23-year-old Bridgette "Bri" Jordan and her 21-year-old brother Brad. Measuring 27 inches and 38 inches tall respectively, the two young adults live full, active lives with the help of their mom, Christy, and the support of average-height older sister Brandi. From attending college and performing with the cheerleading squad to having squeaky voices and having to use child car seats when being driven around, the pair faces a world that is designed for bigger people with self-confidence and humor.
Is it any good?
The series sheds some light on some of the challenges that people with primordial dwarfism (a severe form of dwarfism in which all parts of the individual's body are extremely proportionately small) face every day, like being unable to do simple things like eating while sitting down and coping with medical problems resulting from their condition. But the show's real focus is on the larger-than-life personalities of the siblings, who are enjoying some of the typical experiences of twentysomethings.Christy's gentle interaction with the pair sometimes makes it difficult to appreciate that Bri and Brad are adults. But her strength and endless efforts to ensure that they can navigate a world that isn't always prepared to accommodate their needs is very evident here. It's definitely voyeuristic, but in a way that allows viewers of all ages to see how this family chooses to live a full and positive life regardless of the obstacles that have been thrown their way.
The Good Stuff
Messages: There is an emphasis on overcoming challenges and living full and positive lives despite being different. The sensitive portrayal of the siblings give viewers insight into the everyday lives of people who look very different from most.
Educational Value: Not specifically educational, but offers insight into the everyday challenges of people with dwarfism.
Role Models: Bri and Brad are very positive people. Their mother, extended family, and friends are extremely helpful and supportive.
What to watch out for
Violence & scariness: No violence, but one of Bri's medical issues requires the removal and cleaning of a trache that she must use to breathe.
Sexy stuff: Not an issue
Language: Not an issue
Consumerism: The pair's appearance in the Guinness Book of World Records is discussed, and in one episode the book is prominently featured.
Drinking, drugs & smoking: Not an issue