Who Is Jyoti Amge? 'American Horror Story' Star Is World's Smallest Woman And Star Of New TLC Special

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Who Is Jyoti Amge? The American Horror Story Star Is World's Smallest Woman And Star Of New 'TLC' Special
Entertainment And News

If you ever wanted to know more about Jyoti Amge, the actress who played Ma Petite in American Horror Story, you are in luck. Tonight, TLC will be premiering a show about Amge called World's Smallest Woman: Meet Jyoti.

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Amge, who is from India, has officially been considered the World's Smallest Woman since her 18th birthday in 2011. Since then, she has gained success as an a actress and reality star. Now 26 years old, she has traveled to the United states to explore medical options to repair chronic injuries that are holding back from her ambitions. She is hoping doctors in California can offer her new solutions. And while she's there, she is making time for some fun as well, with TLC cameras in tow. 

Who is Jyoti Amge, the world's smallest woman?

She is a miracle baby. 

When Amge's mother was pregnant with her in India in 1993, doctors couldn't find the baby on sonogram. "Even up to a full nine months, the child could not be seen on the scan. They said the child was not formed. It is like water and that it was not alive," said Kishanji Amge, Jyoti's father, in a National Geographic program in 2009. She weighed only 3 pounds at birth was not expected to live more than a few minutes. She shocked the world by not only surviving but thriving.  

Her family lives in Nagor, India. They are devout Hindus and believe their daughter's stature is a manifestation of the divine. They have a shrine to her in their home with a flame that burns constantly. "People think that I'm the form of a goddess. That's why they show me so much respect," Jyoti says. "That's why they touch my feet. I don't mind that they think like that."

She was born with a form of dwarfism.

Doctors believe that Amge has a condition known as achondroplasia, a congenital disorder that makes it impossible for the body to turn cartilage into bone. Without the long bones developing typically, Amge never grew beyond two feet tall.

She was in her teens before doctors knew what caused her small stature. In the 2009 documentary about her, doctors said no one had ever done diagnostic testing in her. In the show, when medical staff tried to draw blood, the process was so difficult and painful that her parents told them to stop. She didn't receive testing at that time. In that special, doctors could only speculate on her condition and wondered if she suffered from a pituitary gland disorder where her system didn't produce enough growth hormone to fuel typical development. 

Amge in 2020.

She has other medical issues as well.

One of the focus points of the TLC show about her is going to be her quest for surgery to fix two chronic leg injuries. The 2009 documentary revealed that Amge's weak bones are susceptible to injury and she has unhealed fractures in both legs. Instead of the bones knitting themselves back together over time, they developed pseudoarthrosis, a condition where a false joint forms at the point of fracture. That means the fracture will never heal properly. Amge has suffered pain and limited mobility because of the long-standing injury.

In 2009, doctors offered the option of surgery and placing pins in the bond to stabilize her legs. But since they could not give her parents an absolute guarantee of success so they declined the procedure. Instead, they relied on folk medicine in an attempt to heal the injuries. 

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Now that she is an adult, Amge is looking into her options for corrective surgery. She is in Los Angeles to meet with doctors and audiences will get to find out what happens on the show. "I have fame, I have friends, but because of my legs, I can't live my life to the fullest. I just want my life to get better," Amge said in a trailer.

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She is a successful actress.

Despite her injuries, Amge managed to build a career as an actress, something she dreamed about from the time she was very young. In 2014, she starred as Ma Petite on the show American Horror Story. She also did a stint on Bigg Boss, the Indian version of Big Brother, and has appeared as herself in various documentaries. 

She is also officially the World's Smallest Woman. 

The Guinness Book of World Records gave her the title of Shortest Living Woman on December 16, 2011 when she turned 18. Before that, she was the Shortest Living Teen. At the time she was awarded the record, her height was recorded as 2 feet and .7 inches tall. The previous record-holder, American Bridgette Jordan, had been 2 feet, 3 inches tall

She has been the World's Smallest Woman since 2011.

Finding clothes is a problem for her.

Amge is under two feet tall and weighs only 12 pounds. That's about the size of an infant. In previews for her TLC special, she can be seen shopping for clothes and telling a salesperson that her size is "three months." The onesies and colorful jammies for babies are hardly the style a 26-year-old woman wants to wear when she's hanging out with her friends. "The best way to not look like a baby is to dress like an adult," Amge says in the teaser. "It's hard when you can only shop in the infant section."

World's Smallest Woman: Meet Jyoti premiers on TLC on July 9 at 9pm EDT.

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. She is the creator of the blog FeminXer and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.