Hollis Jane dressed as a bear during Miley Cyrus’ sexualized MTV Video Music Awards performance last month, and for the first time she is speaking out on the performance in her personal blog.
I was a bear in Miley Cyrus’ VMA performance and it was my first time doing anything like that … anything where I was being used because of my height, not because of my talent. And I will be the first one to tell you that standing on that stage, in that costume was one of the most degrading things I felt like I could ever do. I realize not everyone shares my opinion and I might just be young and naive, but I feel like the acceptance of this kind of treatment has got to stop.
Jane has been trying hard to break out in the industry. She went to college and earned a theater degree where all the shows she appeared in during school she earned with her talent, not her height. But she says since being in Los Angeles she has received 2 percent real auditions. The rest are solely based on her size and to be used as a gimmick. The Cyrus performance was the first time she took a job where she was meant to be laughed at. (emphasis mine)
I will never forget that performance because it is what forced me to draw my personal line in the sand. After our first dress rehearsal in the costumes with the crew, publicists, performers etc watching us, I walked out of the Barclay Center shaking and crying. Thankfully, my best friends, Kelly and Kerri, happened to be NYC to visit me. They were waiting for me and I walked up to them and broke down. I love being the center of attention, but that was something different. I was being stared and laughed at for all of the wrong reasons. I was being looked at as a prop…as something less than human.
She explained that growing up she never faced any bullying or insults thanks to her amazing friends and family. In college, someone did start an anonymous message board about her, but her sorority sisters, friends and professors complained, and it was taken down. A man tried to harass her at a bar, but her guy friends quickly stepped in to defend her. She said those were not fun, but it did not make her feel ashamed to be little. She felt ashamed at the VMAs.
For the first time I felt truly ashamed of being a little person. We were being used simply because we were little. It felt like society still saw us as a joke, despite the fact there is literally nothing different about me other than the fact I am small. You would never make someone with Down Syndrome to come to your party as an “angry retard”. (I have been asked to go to a party as an “angry elf”).
Jane said it was not worth the money to feel less than human for that one day and hoped the little people community will stop allowing Hollywood to use them as props.