One of the best parts about this season of American Horror Story is that, in a way, it's teaching viewers to accept others no matter what — especially those who are different from you. It's introduced us to many new faces, among them, Rose Siggins, or "Legless Suzi" from American Horror Story: Freak Show. Though she wasn't a born performer like Paul portrayer Mat Fraser, Siggins has been featured on many documentary shows like Ripley’s Believe It or Not! and Extraordinary People. American Horror Story is Siggins' first time on a TV show where she played someone other than herself and while, on the show, many folks seem to be cruel to people who are different, I think that it’s actually helping people understand that being unique isn’t a bad thing — and that moral is kind of Ryan Murphy’s specialty.
And wife and mother Siggins is a big part of that. She's very frank about her condition, speaking rather candidly about it in one documentary, even comparing herself to a Barbie doll with the legs snapped off:
The region that is left is what I have. I have all the female working organs. Everything works the same ... I am able to do everything everyone else can do, I just do it a little bit differently.
But beyond the obvious, there are a few more things to know about Siggins:
She Had a Life Threatening Disease
Siggins was diagnosed with sacral agenesis when she was born. The disease affects your spine and limits the use of your legs. "I did have legs, but my legs were useless," she told AMC. "They kind of just dangled there. It was either become blind in a wheelchair or have them amputated, so let’s do the amputation and that’s what they did when I was two."
She is all about cars
When she isn’t acting, Siggins is a mechanic and works on cars in Pueblo, CO. She’s been working on cars with her dad since she was three years old.
She & her husband are adorable
Her husband Dave is an auto parts salesman and they had their meet-cute when she came into his store looking for car parts. They talked on the phone and built a solid friendship that turned into a relationship and then they married in 1999. "In terms of intimacy there’s no difference there either…" Dave said in the documentary. "I guess if you’re a leg man you’re out of luck. Thank god I’m not a leg man, so I don’t have that problem."
She’s a mother of two
“When I found out I was pregnant I was very shocked,” Siggins told AMC in the same interview. Rose made the doctors run the test multiple times and she said that doctors were very concerned. Her son Luke grew sideways (or transverse), but her first pregnancy came along perfectly despite the fact that she was the first woman with her condition to successfully give birth. Seven years later, she had a daughter named Shelby (named after her favorite car) and she told AMC, "It’s great having kids because they can reach up high. To live a normal life, I wouldn’t need them, but I’m glad I have them. They do make life a lot easier."
She's a Skater Chick
When Siggins is at home, she uses a skateboard to get around. In 2012, she was raising money to buy a new board. Using her arms her whole life was causing her to develop arthritis, and since she refuses a wheelchair, she instead raised money for a board that was lighter, higher and better for her to get around. "My skateboard’s so important to me — it is the difference between feeling trapped and feeling free. I couldn’t get by without it. And the kids think it’s cool!" Siggins told Closer in 2012.
She's Such a Strong Person
In her documentary, Siggins made it clear that she doesn't ever feel sorry for herself:
A lot of people with disabilities feel that life owes them something and I was raised in a way that, no, no one owes you a dime. The world doesn't owe you anything. This is what you have and you use your resources and you get through life. My personal opinion is, get up and go for it. Just do it. Find the courage. Find the strength from within. Don't sit there and whine and cry about how horrible your life is because yeah, granted life does suck at times, but you just need to pull it together.
Kinda makes you want to get it together, doesn't it?
Images: Getty Images (3); Michele K. Short/FX