British travel blogger, Dan Swygart, has hit back at claims he is “creepy” for dating 23-year-old reality star Shauna Rae whose appearance is comparable to a young girl.
Rae’s childlike appearance originates from the treatment she received for brain cancer which consequently left her growth stunted. She weighs 22kg and stands 116cm tall.
Rae is the star of her own reality show, I am Shauna Rae, which features her navigating life as a young disabled woman including dating.
Swygart became interested in Rae after watching the first season of the US television series and reached out to her with flowers. The pair soon met in person and went on dates, beginning their what some say controversial romance.
The 26-year-old has been sharing photos of the pair on Instagram including a video where he defends the relationship between the couple.
“She is a human being. She deserves to have relationships and connections with whomever 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,” he said.
The Brit went on to appear in the second season of I am Shauna Rae, where the two were filmed on several dates together. Viewers of the show expressed opinions on the couple’s relationship saying Swygart is “sick” for considering the star a love interest.
“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,” one critic claimed, according to The Mirror.
Despite the controversy surrounding the couple’s connection, Swygart has received support from people with disabilities thanking him for highlighting the issue.
“It’s given so many people hope that despite them being different, they too can find an amazing friendship and connection with someone,” said Swygart in an Instagram video.
Rae spoke to The Post last year and explained how she’s continually underestimated due to her young appearance.
“If you look at me, you see an eight-year-old girl.”
“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 said.
Swygart continued to defend their relationship in a new video posted to his Instagram account.
“I am absolutely disgusted by some people’s attitudes towards her and my friendship with her. I cannot believe some people who deny her the right to have a friendship or a connection with someone else,” he said.
The current status of Swygart’s and Rae’s relationship is unknown as he returns to the UK, while Rae remains in her Long Island home in the US.
“I haven’t actually really thought about if Dan and I were in a relationship and how that would look,” Rae stated on her show.
“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.”
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