World's Shortest Woman Wants to Be Bollywood Star

December 16, 2011 - 5:50 AM
India Guinness World Record

Guinness World Records adjudicator Rob Molloy, right, and Dr. Manoj Pahukar of Wockhardt hospital, second left, measure Jyoti Amge at a press conference in Nagpur, India, Friday, Dec. 16, 2011. Amge, 18, was declared shortest woman in the world measuring 62.8 centimeters (24.7 inches) by the Guinness World Records. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

AGPUR, India (AP) — A high school student in central India was recognized as the world's shortest woman by Guinness World Records on Friday as she turned 18, saying she hopes to earn a degree and make it in Bollywood.

Jyoti Amge stood just 62.8 centimeters (24.7 inches) tall — shorter than the average 2-year-old — when Guinness representatives visiting from London measured her at a ceremony attended by about 30 family and friends in the town of Nagpur, in Maharashtra state.

A teary-eyed Amge, dressed in one of her finest saris, called the honor an "extra birthday present" and said she felt grateful for being small, as it had brought her recognition. After receiving a plaque, she and her guests cut a birthday cake.

"I have put Nagpur on the world map. Now everyone will know where it is," said Amge, who says she dreams of one day becoming a Bollywood film star as well as pursuing a university degree after she finishes high school this year.

"I want to be an actor," she said.

She measured 7 centimeters (2.76 inches) shorter than the 22-year-old American Bridgette Jordan, who had held the title since September.

"Jyoti encourages us all to look beyond mere size and to just celebrate our differences," Guinness adjudicator Rob Molloy said.

This was not Amge's first Guinness record. Until Friday she was considered the world's shortest teenager, but in turning 18 qualified for the new title. She has grown less than 1 centimeter (0.4 inch) in the last two years, Guinness said in a statement, and will grow no more due to a form of dwarfism called achondroplasia.

Her teenage title brought the chance for multiple Guinness-sponsored trips to Japan and Italy for tours and meetings with other record holders, she said.

The title of shortest woman in history continues to be held by Pauline Musters, who lived in the Netherlands from 1876 to 1895 and stood 61 centimeters (24 inches) tall.