Novick was diagnosed with achondroplasia, a form of dwarfism, when he was young. Achondroplasia is a genetic condition affecting a protein in the body called the fibroblast growth factor receptor. In achondroplasia, this protein begins to function abnormally, slowing down the growth of bone in the cartilage of the growth plate which results in the person staying below average height.
He had a fairly average childhood, he says, but things changed drastically when he moved to New York City. To show the harassment and omnipresent bullying he encounters as a person with dwarfism walking around in NYC, he wore a hidden camera and created the documentary called “Don’t Look Down On Me.”
If we all had a little more compassion we would be able to “walk in a mile in someone’s shoes” to truly understand what it feels like to be in their skin. But some people are just horrible human beings. The results were nothing short of disturbing. He was stared at, screamed at, called names (like hey “short stuff” and “midget”) and was compared to one of the kids on the show “Little People Big World” simply for being little.
He says in the video: “I wanted to stop telling people what happened to me. I wanted to show people what happened to me.”