Shauna Rae’s mother Patricia Schrankel said that she often gets rude comments from strangers who believe her adult daughter is a child.
Schrankel and her daughter are gearing up for the premiere of their new TLC reality series I Am Shauna Rae, which will offer a candid view of the life of the 22-year-old permanently trapped in an 8-year-old’s body.
Shauna Rae’s pituitary gland was left “almost dormant” by the chemotherapy she received as a brain cancer patient when she was a baby.
In a sneak peek of the first episode obtained exclusively by People magazine, Schrankel said she’s had countless interactions with strangers who believe Shauna Rae is an 8-year-old girl, and who judge the mom for allowing her seemingly young daughter to dress and act like an adult woman.
I Am Shauna Rae premieres at 10 p.m. Eastern on January 11 on TLC.
Shauna Rae’s Mother Speaks Out
Though the show won’t air until Tuesday night, People magazine published a glimpse at what’s to come on Monday morning.
According to the outlet, the clip shows Shauna Rae preparing to go out to dinner with her family and speaking to the camera about how she’s perceived by strangers in public.
“I usually don’t do full-face makeup, if I do makeup it’s usually just eyeshadow and mascara. I don’t like wearing a lot of makeup anymore,” the 22-year-old says.
“I think whether I’m dressed up or not, I get attention. I think when I’m dressed up and I have makeup on, my mom gets negative attention,” she added. “I don’t think it’s any different for me, I think it’s different for my family.”
In a confessional interview, Shauna Rae’s mother offers a little more insight on that “negative attention.”
“Shauna likes to dress up like any other 22-year-old, but we go out together and she gets looks like ‘Oh wow, what is she doing? What is that kid doing?’ And then I get the looks of ‘How could you? How could you let your child dress like this?’” says Patricia Schrankel.
Her mom says she often has to explain to complete strangers that her daughter is an adult capable of making her own choices.
“And they don’t believe her and they call her a liar so that’s not fun,” Schrankel explains.
Shauna Rae says the unwanted comments to her mother make her “feel horrible.”
“I don’t deal with all the backlash because they don’t think it’s appropriate to come up to a child and say these things,” the 22-year-old reportedly says.
“They think it’s appropriate for them to come up to the mother, which isn’t appropriate at all in my opinion.”
She continues: “I know it affects her, I think she covers it up very well but I think it’s one of those thoughts at the late of night that comes up into her head, if someone had commented on me that day she would overthink it until she fell asleep.”
But Schrankel, becoming emotional during the interview, saying the unwanted attention just makes her feel badly for her daughter.
“It’s just, I feel so… I guess almost guilty that she will have to go through this for the rest of her life,” the mom says.
“It doesn’t seem like there’s going to be a time that is going to be okay, or is going to be normal for her.”
According to reports, Patricia Schrankel — called Patty by friends and family — is 59 years old. She has two other daughters in addition to Shauna Rae, one of whom is younger than the 22-year-old, and another whose age is not clear.
Schrankel has been married to her current husband Mark since 2011. Shauna Rae reportedly calls Mark her dad, though her biological father is a man named Scott Lesick.