One of the best reality TV shows on right now is Lifetime’s Little Women: LA. The complex relationships between the women who are sometimes friends — and sometimes not — are deep and suspenseful. I was lucky enough to get to interview a Little Women: LA star, and the leading woman on Little Women: Terra’s Little Family, Terra Jolé. She was candidly honest about everything from her fellow reality stars to the struggles she experiences as a mother and little person.
SheKnows: Why were the two new ladies, Britney and Jasmine, added to Little Women: LA this year?
Terra Jolé: With more seasons, it’s a natural transition toward incorporating new personalities. Due to Traci’s pregnancy and her leaving the show, we knew there were going to be additions. Who better to incorporate than our own friends? That’s what makes this show different — we really are friends with or without the show.
SK: After being very vocal on previous seasons, Christy seems to be very quiet so far. What do you think the difference has been? Have you guys made any real progress to rekindling your friendship, and will we get to see it? Do you think that you will ever be close friends?
TJ: After previous seasons, Christy is trying to change her ways. Personally, it’s boring and may or may not be an act, but it’s the route she’s chosen. I’ve known her for almost half my life and have never seen her this calm and rational. Possibly the quest to be a mother again has changed her perspective on life. Surely, this season holds more for the real Christy to emerge. Tune in!
SK: Besides the obvious detail of becoming a mother, how do you feel that you have personally grown and changed since the show premiered? Did seeing yourself on TV lead to you make any changes in yourself?
TJ: Never in a million years did I feel that a child could change me as much as Penelope has. Beyond Penelope, the show has really given a voice to my music endeavors and letting the world relate to other little people on a social level. I try to not let the show change who I am as a mother or as Terra. Some of the girls hold back more than they feel due to the fear of the public’s reaction. Life’s too short, in my book!
SK: You see all these promo videos and photos where you all look like the ultimate BFFs. When you have two women who dislike each other or are in the midst of a fight, how does the network convince you to all look happy and friendly? How hard is it to act like there is nothing wrong when you are upset with one of the ladies and in between takes, is there bickering going on?
TJ: All of us have our ups and downs in our friendships, but we know that when there is a job to do, we must do it. So, yes, at times people do not like standing beside one another or “acting” like we really love each other, but at the same time, we are adults. Petty girl-drama is saved until the event is done. Sooner or later all emotions come out, and 99 percent of the time, it’s on camera.
Switching gears, I would like to ask you a few questions about Little Women: Terra’s Little Family and your beautiful daughter.
SK: Whose idea was it to do a spin-off focused on you, Joe and Penny? If it was the network’s, what was your initial thought when they asked? If it was your idea, what did you hope to show America?
TJ: When we were asked about the show, it was completely the network’s request. Little did I know that my world would be turned upside down! The hardest obstacle was to experience childbirth while being filmed. It was scary, because real emotions are not able to be hidden with a smile. Your entire home life is now on camera, and the reality of it, while frightening, was also rewarding.
SK: Penny is so adorable. As a mom of six, I have cried with you as you have gone through all of her medical tests and issues. Do her doctors, like her pediatrician, have a lot of experience with little people?
TJ: Her immediate neurosurgeon has extensive experience with little people, but her pediatrician did not. This is something that has concerned us so much that we have switched pediatricians. Especially with Pen having Achon-related issues, it’s imperative to have a doctor knowledgeable about the correct treatment.
SK: How many wedding dresses did you actually try on?
TJ: 13 is what I could count in my head. 13!
SK: Knowing how close you are with your brother, will Penny be getting a sibling anytime soon? If so, how far apart would you ideally like your kids to be?
TJ: Penny will be getting a sibling, and soon. I’ve always wanted 3 or 4 kids and for health issues, I think it is best to have them before I’m 40. Hopefully, we will have one more and then adopt one or two more. If you asked Joe this question, his answer may not reflect the same.
SK: What happened to your nanny? She was so funny but definitely opinionated. After the first couple of episodes, we haven’t seen her. Is she still around?
TJ: Grandma Olivia is still around and very opinionated! Not sure if you will see her again this season. But know that you will see her again.
SK: What is on the horizon for you? What do you want fans and/or critics to know about you, or understand that you think they don’t?
TJ: Currently I’m working on a children’s album called Penny’s Playlist, house hunting and raising the best daughter ever! Our fans are fantastic, and the fact that they relate to our story without mentioning the height difference is the reason these shows rock. We are letting the public witness that we are all the same and always have been.
SK: Thank you again so much for taking the time to do this interview. I can’t wait to get to know you better!
TJ: Thank you as well. Some of these questions I’ve never been asked before, and it’s refreshing to do an interview like this.