I am five feet and one inch tall. By human standards, apparently, this is very short. But I grew up with the Madeline mentality, of although I'm very small, inside, I'm tall. I also wear a lot of heels, because I like to be up where the air is thinner. It's also difficult to be heard from way down here, so it pays to be on the same level as taller peers. As Skee-Lo would say, "I wish I was a little bit taller." There are, obviously, great things about being short. You're REALLY good at hide and seek for instance, because you can fit into nooks that your tall friends can't. Flying economy isn't so tight on the legroom. You can avoid going on terrifying roller coasters by citing height restrictions.
But it can also be hard being short. You're not as fast (or at least you have to take more steps to keep up). You can't see a lot from way down there. Worse yet, people don't see you when they're rushing by in the street. They tend to call you "cute." It's extremely frustrating, and for all the things you love about yourself and your height, sometimes it's just no fun at all to be the shortest girl in the room. Here are five problems only us short ladies will understand.
1. Never being able to reach anything, ever...
I have a small step ladder I basically carry around my apartment with me because just about everything is too high up for me to reach. If only I could take a small stool with me out in public, for instance to the supermarket, so I could reach the cans on the top shelf. Or on the subway so I could comfortably hang onto the overhead rail (and also not have my face smooshed into strangers' armpits).
2. Everyone thinks you're a teenager
I'm 30 years old and I get carded everywhere I go, even when I'm with a group of friends that don't get asked for their ID. Everyone automatically assumes I'm in high school, asking me things like "What do you want to study in college?" It's great to look young, but it's also hard to command respect or get people to take you seriously when they look at you and see a child and not the capable adult you really are.
3. Every hem line is too long
Every short woman spends approximately two years of her life managing her hemlines. FACT. It's science. There's no study to prove it, except for my own experience. Every dress or skirt that's supposed to be mid calf needs to be taken up because it's actually ankle length. Mini skirts are knee length. Pants all have an extra yard of material at the bottom. Hemlines were not designed to be accommodating of short women.
4. Being invisible in crowded places
In a crowd, no one can see you. When you're trying to walk down a busy street, people will see the empty space above your head, where a regular sized person's head would be, as an indication that no one is walking there, and they'll try and move into that place, taking you out in the process. If you think that's bad, forget about standing room only concerts and events. You won't even catch a glimpse of the show you'll be trying to see, and every band will look like a stranger's back, because that's all you can see from your low vantage point.
5. You never really see yourself as short until you're confronted with it
When I'm by myself, and not trying to reach anything or wear jeans, I feel tall. I look in the mirror and I see a regular sized woman. And then someone tags me in a group photo on Facebook and I'm confronted by my own short stature. I look at myself, standing a head beneath everyone else, and I think, "That can't be me, can it?" The problem with being a short girl is that you don't actually see yourself as short, even when the world around you does.