Looking for love can be tricky but some find it harder than others – including Samantha Culpeck.
Brighton born and bred Sam, who has dwarfism and associated disabilities, made the brave decision to open her heart to the nation by appearing on the Channel 4 programme The Undateables.
A former star of the show, who has a facial disfigurement, suggested she should take part in the second series after she had made contact with him through Facebook.
Sam, who is just 3ft 10in tall, said she got in touch with him to tell how moved she was by his story and they became friends.
But when he suggested she appear on the show, she wasn’t at first convinced.
She said: “I thought it was great people were doing it, but I could never see myself on the programme.
“Why would I expose my innermost thoughts, which I had never even told my mum, to the nation?”
After handing in her PhD psyhology thesis at the University of Sussex, Sam indulged in a ‘4od binge’ and watched human-interest documentaries in alphabetical order until she got to The Undateables.
The 34-year-old said: “I watched it and thought it was an incredible and groundbreaking programme and courageous of the people who took part.
“It was really impressive and really moved me.
“I felt it added to the debate of disability and sex.”
Sam told how her condition attracts an array of unwanted attention and admitted it can ruin her day.
She added: “Society wouldn’t laugh at someone who’s in a wheelchair but they’re likely to if you’re a dwarf.
“I just wanted to put across that I’m just a regular girl like anyone else. I have the same hang ups too. I fancy people and I want people to fancy me.
“I love people and I want to be loved and I really felt strongly about representing myself and people who have dwarfism in a positive way.”
Pouring out her innermost thoughts and dating guys on camera was a liberating and empowering experience for Sam who has seen a seismic shift in her life.
She refuses to reveal many details about her feelings towards the men on the show, other than the second, Colin, was “a very nice date and a lot of fun”.
Sam said: “Differences should be embraced because it would be a very boring world if everyone was the same.
“To change opinion you need to really get the message out there and I think this programme does grab attention and it certainly sticks in your mind.
“I hope it does change opinion and raise awareness, essentially just show that we’re human and everyone deserves love.”
- Sam’s story is due to air on Channel 4 tomorrow at 9pm.
See the latest news headlines from The Argus:
- Brighton bus driver had no idea he had hit pedestrian
- Lido restoration plans wins £2.3m cash boost
- Doctor charged with sexually assaulting 16-year-old patient
- Officials back flats at perfume factory
- Drink driving pensioner banned from road for eighth time