Shauna Rae Reveals The Latest On Her Dating Life Now That She’s Famous: There Are ‘Pros & Cons’

TLC's newest star Shauna Rae spoke EXCLUSIVELY with HL about whether or not she's been on a date since filming ended, the latest on her fertility journey, and more

I Am Shauna Rae is TLC’s newest hit. The series has followed Shauna Rae, a 22-year-old woman whose growth was stunted following a battle with a rare form of brain cancer. The chemotherapy left her pituitary gland almost dormant, and she stands at only 3 feet and 10 inches tall — the average size of an 8-year-old.

Over the course of the first season, Shauna has explored so many aspects of her life in an honest and real way. HollywoodLife spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Shauna about moving out of her parents’ house, her dating life, her views on relationships now that she’s in the public eye, the next steps in her fertility journey, and more. Read our Q&A below and check out our EXCLUSIVE preview of the season finale, airing February 15 on TLC, above:

I Am Shauna Rae
Shauna Rae with her family. (TLC)

I’ve been watching your show since it premiered. You are just so amazing and inspiring. How’s it been for you being in the public eye since the show premiered?
Shauna Rae: I don’t think it’s much different than my life before the show aired. I do think that I always kind of attract some kind of attention to myself because I’ve always looked different. I’ve carried myself differently. But now that the show has aired, it’s just heightened. So every time I go outside, someone asked me, “Are you the girl on TLC?” So it’s not completely different. It’s just been an adjustment.

In the past couple of episodes, we’ve seen you talk about moving out of your parents’ house. What’s the latest on that? Have you moved out yet?
Shauna Rae: I have not. We are working on the process, and the process continues in the season finale. But because of COVID and because of my financial state, it’s just not something that’s happening right now. But it is something that’s going to happen in the future.

Your parents are very overprotective. We’ve started to see them become more accepting that you’re an adult and can make your own decision, but is it still a push-pull situation for you?
Shauna Rae: I think it’ll always be a push-pull because they almost did lose me when I was little. There’s always that, “You’re my baby. Don’t do anything.” But I think that they’re coming to terms with the fact that I am an adult and that they do have to let me do things. I think it’s just a little bit harder for them because, as I said, they don’t want me to get hurt. They don’t want to lose me in any way.

You went on a blind date earlier in the season. Have you gone on any other dates since filming ended?
Shauna Rae: I have not gone on any other dates since filming has ended. I know that the matchmaker has found someone else, but I have not gone on a date with that person.

Are you thinking about going out with them, or are you still not sure yet? 
Shauna Rae: When it comes to dating, my perception is it’ll happen when it happens. I am very focused on me and getting my life together because I don’t think in a relationship you should have to not have anything together. You kind of should be your own individual person first. So I’m really working on that and if someone comes along, I won’t pass them up.

Now that you’re in the public eye, will that change how you view dating?
Shauna Rae: Oh, I would say there are pros and cons to it. I do have to look at the safety concern always. Of course, being in any kind of limelight, there are going to be people that are going to reach out. It’s all about having the best intentions. I do know that more people find me attractive, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have the best intentions for me.

Have you thought any more about college and maybe doing it in person? Or because of the pandemic, it’s up in the air? 
Shauna Rae: So with the pandemic, it is up in the air because I am still high-risk whether I’m fully vaccinated or not. I have thought about starting online programs, but I’m not sure if I want to go into the career I want to go into, or if I want to do something else with my life. I have to figure out which pathway I want to take.

What’s been the response from fans in telling your story? What’s that experience been like for you?
Shauna Rae: I’m actually really grateful to TLC because of this. I didn’t know anyone with my form of dwarfism. I didn’t even know another cancer survivor besides immediate family before the show. Because the show came out, people have reached out. I found other people with pituitary dwarfism. I found other people who struggle just on an emotional level that I’ve met with, and it’s actually been a really positive experience. There are always going to be those negative comments, but none of those negative comments are worse than what I’ve actually heard to my face.

You are so incredibly confident. What’s the secret to your confidence?
Shauna Rae: I think the secret to my confidence is just the fact that I took time to get to know who I was. I took time to understand my body and then understand every part of myself. That time off away from the public eye, away from all other people’s opinions really helped me figure out who I am, what I want to do, what my purpose is. I’ve just kind of stayed positive, and the positivity really helps because it attracts other positive people and attracts other people that understand me more. I guess the main thing would just be positive, be accepting of others, and don’t try to judge anyone unless you want judgment.

Shauna Rae
Shauna Rae in the season finale. (TLC)

If your show gets a season 2, is there anything you’d love to explore on the show that you didn’t get to the first time around? 
Shauna Rae: I do want to explore the clothing industry because I know that clothing for smaller-statured women is difficult to find. I would like to do something with that. I would love to do more things with animals. I can never get enough of them. I think that I definitely want to start the process with driving. Even though I’m working on my permit now, I want to start that whole driving process. I want to teach people why it can be so complicated and why it’s not as easy as everyone thinks it is out there. Just because other short people drive doesn’t mean that every person with a form of dwarfism or different handicap has that easy access to that. I want to dive deeper into how my dwarfism is affected by the general public and how that has affected my disability in general. I want to explore all that stuff. And, of course, there will be continuations of the fertility part of the show. I want to celebrate more holidays, even if they’re not like really holidays, just like fun days. I don’t get to see my extended family as much, so it’s really nice to just have those experiences.

Exploring your fertility options was such a relatable thing for women to see. I thought that was a really important moment for the show. 
Shauna Rae: I think it’s important for everyone, especially cancer patients. A lot of cancer patients don’t know that chemotherapy affects fertility, and then dwarfism, of course, affects fertility. And then we just have normal day women that may not be able to have a baby the normal, natural way. I don’t think enough of that is discussed.

Have you thought more about freezing your eggs? Is that a possibility down the road?
Shauna Rae: It is a possibility. It really depends on my results from the fertility treatment with AMH hormone and my ovarian reserve level depends on the action I need to take.

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