I’m short. Really short. I’m 23-years-old, and I’m only 5 feet tall. I might not be the shortest girl in the world, but let’s just say that I have met an uncomfortable amount of kindergarteners who are actually taller than me. Now, when you first meet me, you might feel compelled to tell me how short I am (i.e., “Wow, you’re really short.”). But really, there’s no need for that. I kind of already know — I do own a mirror.
I grew up in a tiny family. I don’t mean weirdly tiny, we’re just all petite — parents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents included. I never knew it wasn’t completely normal until I started getting old enough for kids at school to start picking on me for it. I’m pretty sure I was always the tiniest kid in my class: constantly at the front of the line when we were in height order, always squirming in my seat to see the board or the movie better, and always being patted on the head and being told how cute and little I was.
When I was younger, I hated being short. I went through middle school and the first few years of high school literally praying every night for God to make me grow just a few inches taller. I stared at the taller girls with envy. They didn’t get easily mixed up with a crowd of first-graders and they definitely never had trouble playing basketball in gym. I used to feel like a freak, like I would forever be defined as “the short girl”.
It took a while, but I finally learned to love being short. If I’m being honest, yes, I would like at least 2 inches added to my height (is that really so much to ask, God?!), but I’m pretty happy with my tiny stature. Still, there are definitely some things that are a little annoying about being the short girl.
For one thing, heels are a must. Now, don’t get me wrong — I love me a good pair of heels (show me a girl who doesn’t), but sometimes those things can freakin’ hurt. And if you’re not vertically challenged, you have no idea how difficult it is to shop for a pair of jeans. I have to search for petites everywhere, but in most stores, even those are too long on me. I have to get almost all of my denim hemmed, which costs extra money and extra time. Plus, most dresses and skirts are destined to be too long on me as well.
I’m also constantly being mistaken for being younger than I am because besides my height, I also have a baby face. Yes, I know, this will be great when I’m older. But when I was 19-years-old, trying to sneak into bars with my fake ID that all my friends easily got into, it wasn’t great. And when I’m out and a stranger I’m talking to asks what grade or year I’m in in school (I graduated college almost three years ago), it’s not that great either.
But the thing that annoys me the most? Being told by almost everyone I know how short I am. I don’t really mind when my friends or family comment on my height, but when complete strangers feel like it’s necessary to announce how short I am, it’s just plain rude. Oh, and please don’t rest your elbow on my shoulder because I’m “the perfect height,” or pat me on the head and tell me how little and cute I am unless you’d like me to dislike you forever.
Despite the annoyances, being short really isn’t that bad. Okay, so I always have to have someone reach for the things on the higher shelves for me, and I just can’t seem to pull off the maxi-skirt trend right now (no idea how the Olsen twins do it). But I kind of like being little. I can squeeze through crowds really easily, I can still fit in some kids clothes (hello, cheaper prices!) and I never have to worry about being taller than my date. All in all, it’s pretty much a win-win.
This post was originally written by Jessica – Hofstra.