Travel Blogger Defends Relationship With 23-Year-Old Reality TV Star Who Looks Like An 8-Year-Old Girl

Dan Swygart recently spoke out on Instagram in defense of himself over criticism toward his relationship with reality star Shauna Rae, a 23-year-old who looks eight.

Oprah Winfrey Judging You GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

The popular travel blogger took social media users to task over their, he says, “ableist” remarks about his relationship.

Read also: Influencer Confronts Creep On Plane Who Took Photos Of Her While She Slept

@danswygart / Instagram

Shauna Rae has pituitary dwarfism, a condition that came about as a result of receiving chemotherapy for childhood brain cancer. The chemo affected her pituitary gland and stunted her growth.

She is only about 50 lbs and 3’10” and, as one could imagine, dating has been difficult.

@danswygart / Instagram

“I am not a creep,” said Dan Swygart, 26. He started dating Shauna Rae after watching the first season of her reality show.

@danswygart / Instagram

He says he reached out to her with flowers after feeling inspired by her.

The pair have since gone on dates, both of which were shared on social media, but Swygart has been slammed on social media for the relationship.

He posted a defense of their relationship on Instagram Reels.

Me and Shauna are still just good friends getting to know each other. But I think it’s absolutely disgusting the attitude of some people.

She’s been through so much in life. She survived cancer as a child, she’s always felt different and been treated different by society.

@danswygart / Instagram

Swygart continued:

But how dare you take away her right, her human right, to have a connection, a friendship, a relationship with someone else?

Who are you to say that she can’t have that?

I cannot believe some people who deny her the right to have a friendship or connection with someone else. She is a human being, she is a cancer survivor, she’s got disability, she had dwarfism. Who are you to take away her right to have a friendship and connection with someone? How dare you? How dare you?

In a second reel, he explained how they met and why he reached out.

The way me and Shauna met was I saw the first season of the show and I was really inspired by her emotional strength so I sent her some flowers and a card to say go live your best life, wishing you all the happiness you deserve.

I did the show knowing I was going to get some hate but it’s very important to remember that Shauna is an incredible 23-year-old woman who has a disability. So as you’re 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.

As soon as you say she can’t have a real-world connection with someone else, you dehumanize her, which is absolutely disgusting. She is a human being, she deserves to have relationships and connections with whoever she wants.

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.

Rae spoke with The New York Post last year about how she was treated differently because of her appearance.

She said, “If you look at me, you see an 8-year-old. But I think if you take the time to look at the details in my face, in my hands, the maturity in my body—and I think if you take the time to actually talk to me—you really understand that I’m a 23-year-old.”

She noted that she isn’t a big fan of long-distance relationships, which may prove tricky because she lives in New York while Swygart resides in the UK.

“I haven’t actually really thought about if Dan and I were in a relationship and how that would look,” she said. “I assume that we would probably try long-distance, but I’ve been in a long-distance relationship. It’s not my cup of tea.”

Featured Image: @danswygart/Instagram

Read also: Photographers Share The “Most Outrageous” Requests They’ve Gotten From Instagram Influencers (25 Posts)