23-year-old Shauna Rae navigates life while stuck inside the body of an eight-year-old girl – Screen Shot
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23-year-old Shauna Rae navigates life while stuck inside the body of an eight-year-old girl

Shauna Rae was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer at only six months old. Luckily, she received life-saving chemotherapy treatment which—while fighting off the cancer—rendered her pituitary gland dormant, thereby stunting her ability to grow as a normal child would.

Now aged 23, Rae is only three feet ten inches tall and weighs approximately 50 pounds, giving her the physical appearance of an eight-year-old girl. Rae still, however, seeks a fulfilling and normal life as a grown woman, and captures this turbulent journey on her own TLC reality TV show, I Am Shauna Rae.

TLC has always been known as the network that showcases unique personal journeys—such as the most identical twins in the world and their shared fiancé—and encourages audiences to educate themselves on a wide array of human stories and challenges. This case is no different.

For those of you who might not know what pituitary dwarfism is, it’s a medical condition caused by insufficient amounts of growth hormone in the body. Few cases can be accurately treated with the use of synthetic growth hormones.

In I Am Shauna Rae, viewers follow the young woman’s journey as she tries to experience a number of different activities such as going to a bar, getting a tattoo and even going on a blind date. While out with friends at a bar, Rae is treated poorly and after being asked to leave—due to the bartender assuming she is underage—she’s forced to repeatedly show her ID in an attempt to enjoy herself without receiving judgmental looks from the other patrons.

According to UNILAD, Rae has also expressed her frustrations with the ways in which she is compared to 24-year-old sister, Tara. She stated, “It is difficult seeing my other friends and family being more independent, but I don’t envy or have any jealousy towards Tara and what choices she has made in her life, whether that’s going to college or moving out. But I think it’s entirely unfair that my parents treat us differently as we’re only two years apart.”

During the reality TV show, Rae frequently airs her disappointment at the fact that so many of her friends and family continue to treat her like a child due to her stature, rather than as the 23-year-old woman that she is. She even recently took up vaping in order to try and appear older.

When it comes to love and dating, the Long Island native has also spoken at length during I Am Shauna Rae about the disturbing kind of men who gravitate to her.

“I attract creeps. It’s difficult when you look like an eight-year-old—a lot of guys have an issue with it at first, they feel that sense of staring and that’s why a lot of my relationships don’t work, they don’t know how to deal with my height. People don’t understand that I’m an adult.”

Rae went into further detail on the dating subject during an appearance on The Sarah Fraser Show in February 2022. The TLC star, when considering the topic of sex within the dwarfism community, shared on the podcast that “I know sex is a huge topic when it comes to disability and just dwarfism in general, so it is something that is touchy, but it’s something that needs to be talked about. I don’t think sex should be so taboo as it is in our society.”

The young woman continued: “At least for me, it was confirmation that I can kind of do whatever I want, because growing up I was told that it might not be a possibility. And when I found the boyfriend that I had and we dated for a couple years and it finally happened, it made me feel like a normal woman.”

Well, with season two of I Am Shauna Rae set to hit our screens before the end of the year, we’re sure there’s much more in store for this taboo-breaking remarkable individual.

Introducing the world’s most identical twins… and their shared fiancé

You know what they say: good things come in threes. For twins Anna and Lucy DeCinque, this is definitely the case. The iconic duo have made national headlines for over a decade with their, shall we say, unique approach to ‘twinhood’. The Australian identical twin sisters undertake life in unison, in the most literal sense. Their symmetrical daily routines immediately baffled and confused us all, however, it was their shared ‘threeway’ romantic relationship that ultimately tipped viewers over the edge.

In April 2021, American cable television channel TLC released its latest binge-worthy reality TV show: Extreme Sisters. The show’s purpose was simple: to document the lives of identical twin sisters whose intense bond may appear unconventional by society’s standards—structured in an up-close and personal format that has previously been tried and tested by the trash TV giants.

While a number of sibling pairs have garnered online gossip, the DeCinque twins quickly became the prime fascination for both netizens and media publications alike. In their Extreme Sisters introduction, the siblings stressed how they’d always viewed themselves as one person. The way they take their coffee is identical, their outfits are identical, their bathroom schedules are identical—and, more often than not, they speak together in chorus. Simply put, they live their lives in complete synchronisation.

Since 2015, the DeCinque twins have also been posting on their shared YouTube channel with content primarily consisting of vlog-style videos. Regular uploads within the channel have included their How To series alongside twin-themed life updates and Q&A sessions.

The duo also briefly appeared in an episode of Botched on E!. The show featured two prominent celebrity plastic surgeons, Terry Dubrow and Paul Nassif, helping their patients remedy extreme surgeries. In true identical twin form, the DeCinque duo were seeking a consultation for a boob job to help correct a previous surgery and create an even more symmetrical look. You couldn’t accuse them of not being thorough…

In Extreme Sisters, one of the most interesting aspects of the pair’s relationship is their shared partner and fiancé, Ben Byrne, who claims to be equally in love with each of them. In one of the pair’s earliest YouTube videos, posted in 2016 and titled We have SEX with the same man & how it works, viewers were given greater insight into their romantic relationship with Byrne.

In the video, the twins explained how their dynamic as a three-person partnership has always worked for them, stating that “it’s easier, there’s no jealousy. If Ben kisses me, he’ll kiss Anna straight away.” The duo also went on to stress how there is zero sexual contact between the two of them, a serious claim both siblings have had to repeatedly deny.

Having been together for over ten years, the threesome recently celebrated a momentous occasion: their engagement. Documented in 2021 during the course of the TLC reality show, Byrne was captured on one knee proposing to both women and presenting them with—you guessed it—identical engagement rings.

Unfortunately, polygomy is currently illegal in Australia. However, this hindrance is seemingly insignificant for the trio, with Byrne expressing: “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to make you happy.”

What would make them happy, you ask? An identical pregnancy, duh. According to LADbible, the twins hope to conceive at the same time in order to create their very own perfect microcosm of synchronicity. Science, however, may not be on their side. During a pregnancy consultation, the twins were informed that they had only one in 36 per cent chance of conceiving naturally at the same time.

Despite these odds, the world’s most identical twins don’t plan on giving up their dream of a family, and they’ll keep trying until they succeed. In the meantime, as the sisters have said themselves, Byrne is most definitely “twinning and winning.”