A teenager the size of a large watermelon is the worldʼs smallest woman.
Tiny 2ft tall Jyoti Amge, of Nagpur, India, celebrated turning 18 with a birthday
cake almost as big as her.
ʻIt has been my dream to be recognised as the worldʼs smallest woman for many years but I have had to wait for my 18th birthday,ʼ says Jyoti.
At just 11lb (5kg) Jyoti is half the weight of her 2-year-old neighbour. She has a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia, meaning she stopped growing shortly after her first birthday.
Despite this she insists on being treated like any other young woman and likes nothing better than doing her make-up and going clothes shopping with her friends – the only difference being that due to her tiny legs she doesnʼt mind being picked up and carried.
ʻI do my make-up just like taller girls and I shop along with my sisters, buy clothes with my
mother and father – I do everything according to my wishes,ʼ says Jyoti. ‘The biggest problem I have is that my hair is longer than me so I need help in making my hair,ʼ she adds.
Due to her size, Jyoti has to have clothes and jewellery made for her. She sleeps in a tiny bed and uses special plates and cutlery to eat, as normal-sized utensils are too big.
Sheʼs so small she even fits perfectly inside the basket on her sisterʼs bicycle when she
needs to be taken around town.
ʻThe advantage of being short is that wherever I go people get attracted towards me and let me go first,’ says Jyoti. ‘I can go wherever I want. When I go out crowds gather and wonder how a girl so short does so many things.ʼ
With dreams of stardom, Jyoti has already featured in a music video for Indian Bhangrarap star Mika Singh, TV shows across the world and an hour-long National Geographic documentary on her life. Bollywood has also come calling, with two films lined up for the budding actress next year.
ʻI wish that my wax statue should be made at Madame Tussauds museum in London. I would be glad if that happened,ʼ she says. ʻI like being famous and want to be an actress to make other people happy.ʼ
Despite her increasing fame Jyotiʼs parents fear for her future. Growth problems have left her bones so brittle they are in danger of breaking in a simple fall. She is likely to need care for the rest of her life and older sister Archana, 26, admits she is likely to have to care for Jyoti as her parents get older.
ʻI will only marry a person who Jyoti likes. Even when someone is interested I ask Jyoti if she likes him,ʼ she says. ʻI will treat her like I have since childhood and I would never like to be separated from her.ʼ