I’m 5’0 tall, 5’3 on a good day and 5’5 on a very good night. This height is definitely something a person becomes acquainted to. It’s a lifestyle not everyone can truly understand, unless you’re right there with me. Growing up, my height drove me crazy. I got nicknames like Madeline and Thumbelina followed by phrases that were supposed to be uplifting but really just brought me down (literally!) like, “Oh you’re not short… you’re fun-sized.” Most people’s eye-levels were right above me so I would also get the whole, “Where did Ella go?” nonsense. Anyway, when you’re on the more petite-end like me, you face problems in your everyday life that no one else could possibly understand because they just don’t fall short enough the way we do.
While I could probably write a novel for the problems only us short girls will truly understand, I decided to cut it down to my 11 personal favorite short girl dilemmas:
1. You’re always cute.
Aka, 9 times out of 10, you’re not taken seriously. My favorite occurrence of this is when you’re angry and cursing up a storm, yet somehow people still find it just as adorable as puppies wearing clothes.
2. The world of dating is your oyster.
This is a blessing and a curse. There is more fish in the sea for us more petite ladies. We have more leeway on wearing heels and the guy still being at least a head taller than us. The only problem with more choices is more decisions, but with this situation, it’s up to you whether you look at it as glass half full or half empty.
3. People love to pick you up
It’s kind of like how people see babies and pick them up and carry them. For some reason, regardless of what age we are, people seem to think the same thing is acceptable for full-grown adults, even if full grown means 5’3 and under. Sometimes I feel like people do this to prove something, which is then followed by, “You can be used for weightlifting” jokes. Flattering on one hand, but when people think they just have a right to lift you up without notice… honestly it’s scary. To anyone who is 5’8 and above, imagine just walking on the street and someone seeing you and carrying you without any warning. Yeah, so please stop doing that. I’m not your toy you can just pick up and play with.
The one exception to this problem is that if our feet are hurting or we’re feeling lazy… tall folks, definitely feel free to pick us up and carry us around.
4. You were born to be someone’s arm rest.
OK, I promise you were born for much greater things than being a personal arm rest for “average-sized” and “taller” people. But for some reason, they tend to disagree. They see us, they spot our shoulders, and boom! They’re using us as an arm rest. For the record, this is incredibly uncomfortable and hey, it’s not like we use you average- and taller-sized people as a step stool!
5. You’re mistaken as a high schooler.
People always say that you’ll be thankful for looking younger when you’re 40, but like… I’m not trying to be 40-years-old any time soon. Apparently, society taught us that age and height are one in the same, so by the time we reach our growth spurt of 4’11-5’3 during our teens, we stopped aging.
The worst is when you go to pick up your little sister from high school, and a teacher asks you to step out of your car and into the principals office because it looks like you skipped school. Or even worse, you’re a mom and when you’re seen with your child, people ask if you’re a babysitter or their sister. FYI, women who are shorter can be older than a high schooler and be a mother. Just wanted to clear that up because apparently this concept is confusing for some people!
6. Doing everyday things around the house is like climbing up mountains.
If you’re like me, you have way too much pride to accept defeat of the things you can’t reach, so you refuse to purchase a stepping stool. Instead, you wind up looking like a monkey in your kitchen or in your closet because you have to climb and stand on inanimate objects just to get the things you need. On the brighter side, this has taught us to work hard for what we really want and need in life.
7. Your clothes swallow you.
You find yourself drawing in your arm sleeves and pant legs when shopping in the “regular” women’s clothing sections. Don’t worry, there are petite-friendly stores that are literally in your reach if you just look out for them.
8. Everyone wants to test your limits.
People love playing the game of how high they can lift an object until we can’t reach it anymore and have to jump for it. Like noted in number 6, no matter how difficult these tasks seem to be, in the long-run we win this game everytime. Things in life don’t get hand-given to us. We actually have to fight for what we want, or in our case, jump/climb/stand on inanimate objects.
9. You literally look up to everyone.
In large social settings, sometimes this starts to hurt your neck. Also if you have some pride issues like me that conflict with your height, don’t worry about a thing. Because when you’re CEO of your favorite company, even though they’ll be looking down at you, they’ll have to look up, too. Whose necks are hurting now?!?
10. You are automatically the middle seat in cars and taking pictures is a nightmare.
For certain everyday tasks, your height has assigned you a permanent position in certain places, such as car seats and where to stand in photos.
11. You are at armpit level, making summer a nauseating season for you.
Your eye level is at armpit level for most. Deodorant is a thing that apparently doesn’t work for everyone, and you wind up finding out the hard way. The places where this really hits home are: concerts, clubbing, the subway, and TBH sometimes even hugging, which may be the worst one of all.
11 things listed later, but I promise not all hope has fallen short for us. While we may be on the smaller end of the spectrum, we should keep our heads up. Depending on how we want to look at it, when asked if the weather is better down here… you know what? Sometimes, it is! Think of it this way, we’re kind of like a Polly Pocket in a Barbie world. Polly Pocket seemed much more chill anyway, and she had much better dream houses than Barbie ever did.
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[Photo: Extra Petite]