A man dating a woman ‘trapped in a child’s body’ has hit back at critics who are calling him a ‘creep’.
Shauna Rae – who is 3ft 10in tall – documents the challenges of being an adult who looks like a child on her TLC show I Am Shauna Rae.
The TLC series follows Rae and how she stopped growing following a childhood illness.
And after introducing viewers to her new love interest, the man in question has faced considerable backlash.
Watch Shauna Rae’s new love interest meet her family for the first time below…
Rae, who weighs just 50 pounds, suffered brain cancer as a child and underwent chemotherapy.
This led to pituitary gland damage, which resulted in pituitary dwarfism.
Now, she resembles an eight-year-old girl rather than the 23-year-old woman she actually is.
And after Rae’s new relationship was featured on the show, Dan Swygart, 26, has had to defend himself, as haters are labelling him a ‘creep’.
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The pair have been dating since Swygart slid into Rae’s DMs and sent her flowers after being ‘inspired’ by her on I Am Shauna Rae.
He travelled from his native Wales to visit Rae and her family in the US last year.
With their relationship progressing, Swygart has now spoken out against trolls who are ‘not emotionally mature’ enough to understand the connection between him and Rae.
He said: “It’s very important to remember that Shauna is an incredible 23-year-old woman who has a disability.
“So as you are building a connection with her, it’s important to acknowledge her disability and look past that and build it with who she is as an individual.
“She’s this incredible, inspiring 23-year-old woman who just happens to be a little bit short.”
When the episode first aired, many viewers expressed concern over the relationship in the YouTube comments section.
One person wrote: “I’m sorry, but any man that wants to date her – there is definitely something not right with him.
“Yes, she is 23, but she looks and talks like an eight-year-old. She also does not act like a mature woman. She is childlike.”
In his own Instagram video, Swygart addressed the negative comments about his relationship with Rae.
He said: “As soon as you say that she can’t have a real-world connection with someone else, you dehumanise her, which is absolutely disgusting.
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“She is a human being. She deserves to have relationships and connections with whoever she wants.
“And I think some people aren’t emotionally mature enough to understand that you can have a deep connection based on personality rather than just on looks.”
Shauna’s mother, Patricia Schrankel, commented on Swygart’s video: “Well said Dan. I appreciate your coming into our lives.”
Many viewers also offered Dan and Shauna their support, saying that ‘love is love’.
One wrote: “So well said! You BOTH deserve to be happy.
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“There’s too much judgement in this world. Wishing you both future happiness.”
Another added: “Agree! I’m 3’11 and my husband is 6’3. When we first started dating everyone assumed we were together for the dumbest reasons.
“Just because a person is short, doesn’t define who we are as individuals and that we can’t have a normal life. Love is love.”
In the past, Rae has discussed how she can identify ‘creeps’ who are not interested in her for the right reasons.
She said: “I’ve just developed the ability to spot someone who may not have the best intentions because they give themselves away.
“Their questions are very targeted towards my physicality.
“They’re learning about me like I’m a specimen in a lab.”
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