Entertainment And News

Man Labeled A 'Creep' For Dating A Woman Who 'Looks Like An 8-Year-Old' Defends Their Age Gap

Photo: Dan Swygert/Instagram
man and woman with dwarfism

A travel blogger is facing backlash over his perfectly age-appropriate relationship that followers think is "creepy."

26-year-old Dan Swygert recently started dating reality TV star, Shauna Rae — the star of TLC's "I Am Shauna Rae."

Rae’s show follows the 23-year-old navigating her seemingly normal life — save for her childlike appearance and the fact that she weighs just 50 pounds and stands at 3’10.

Her growth was stunted as a child when she received treatment for brain cancer. Rae underwent chemotherapy and it affected her pituitary gland, causing dwarfism.

She is in remission and her reality show gave viewers a look into her life and showcased her exuberant personality.

Yet, it has also opened her up to backlash from people unfamiliar with her condition. 

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Dan Swygert and Shauna Rae's relationship has caused controversy online.

The backlash for Swygert started when an episode of Rae's show aired, documenting the couple spending time together after he traveled from Wales to see her.

In that video, Swygert shows up to a bar as Rae is working and the two have light banners back and forth. He asks her to dance on her next break and she tells him she doesn't dance.



Swygert reminds her that they just danced together last week, to which Rae replies, “I didn’t dance with you. I danced next to you. That’s the difference.”

After he leaves, a co-worker questions her about him and Rae tells her, “He wants to take me to Malaysia for a wedding.”

The video then picks up as Rae sits with her parents, discussing her leaving the country with a man she just started dating.

Her father is confident that he will protect her, but Rae’s mother is highly skeptical and believes they need to get to know each other better.

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Shauna Rae's boyfriend has been feverishly defending their relationship.

After receiving some negative feedback from the public, the travel blogger shared another explaining his situation with Rae.



There, Swygert tells viewers that he had watched Rae on the first season of her reality show and “was really inspired by her strength”.

He decided to send her flowers and a card that said, “Go live your best life. Wishing you all the happiness you deserve.”

He expected to receive some hate but wanted people to know that Rae is a 23-year-old woman with a disability and that should be acknowledged.

He tells viewers that he was able to look beyond her condition and build a relationship with her as an individual.

“She’s this incredible, inspiring 23-year-old woman who just happens to be a little bit short.”

He offers that those who deny Rae the opportunity to connect with others her age dehumanize her.

“She is a human being. She deserves to have relationships and connections with whoever she wants.”

Swygert points out that it takes emotional maturity to understand that people can have deep connections with someone based on personality, not physical appearance.

Rae is used to people treating her like a child and underestimating her. In late 2022, she told the New York Post, “People don’t understand that I’m an adult. If you look at me, you see an 8-year-old.”

She went on to say, “But if you take the time to look at the details in my face, in my hands, the maturity in my body and actually talk to me, you will understand that I’m a 23-year-old.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.