I am a petite female. NOT fun sized. Do not call me fun sized. It is not cute, it is belittling (don’t you dare laugh at how punny that was). When I joke about my size I prefer the term ‘pocket person’ because it makes me sound like a whimsical fairy creature and not a dumb candy bar that will by no stretch of the imagination satisfy my hunger.
Before I discuss the more nuanced aspects of growing up short, let me explain to you a few behaviors that this pocket person hopes to eradicate from the face of the earth.
1. When you meet a short person in real life, no matter how shocked you are by their shortness, please greet us with a, “Hello, nice to meet you my name is _______”. DO NOT GREET ME FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER WITH “OH WHOA YOU’RE SO SHORT OHMYGOSH WOW”. I refuse to have a conversation with a heightist personification of the Doge meme.
2. Why do you think it’s appropriate as an adult to pat another adult on the head? I get I’m adorable and it’s tempting but you’re a grown ass person and you don’t pet a human woman like she’s a domesticated animal.
3. Do not shame short women for wanting to wear heels. There are obvious disadvantages to being short. The biggest for me is that I’m not able to look at people eye to eye. As a woman who likes to assert herself, it is frustrating to know people are literally looking down at me. I know I can be a presence in a room without having the height of Heidi Klum, but dammit wearing heels makes me feel hella powerful. I’m proud of my ability to strut like a champ in some stick thin stilettos. It makes me feel like the world is my catwalk and no other woman should make me feel like I am a slave to a patriarchal society because of that. No one is like, “Oh poor Beyoncé, she just wears those heels cause she’s desperate for male attention, she should really just be comfortable and wear Converses on stage. Her dance moves would be so much cleaner”.
4. If you’re extremely tall, don’t stand directly in front of me at a concert. We could both be enjoying this concert, if I could actually see the band and not the back of your Vineyard Vines polo.
Good, that’s out of the way.
I struggled in high school and college with my height. I truly believed an attractive tall man would not be interested in dating me. Why would they date a short girl when they had a sea of averaged height/tall girls to date? Scroll through the Instagram of your favorite clothing brand. The women in the ads are probably all around 6 feet tall. That is the pinnacle of beauty in our society, not these stubby legs. I therefore strategically went after short guys thinking they had significantly less prospects due to their height so the odds of them dating me would be much higher (side note: that’s also not fair as women shouldn’t be heightist towards men either).
My strategy failed. I went on 0 dates in college. Like none. Goose egg. It was impossible not to start looking for concrete reasons as to why men weren’t interested, so I blamed my height (and the adult braces I had till 19 – that deserves a whole post of its own). I look back now and I can see a multitude of potential reasons as to why I didn’t date that had nothing to do with my physical appearance. And even the reasons I have thought up now may not be accurate.
It wasn’t until I moved to a corner of the country where I didn’t know a soul that I started to really appreciate my physical appearance and realize that height is not synonymous with attractiveness. Because I was in a new place meeting only new people, I made more of an effort to assert my presence and display my personality. And probably not by coincidence, guys starting taking notice. My height didn’t even matter. IT DID NOT EVEN MATTER.
I’m not perfect, I still sometimes wish I looked like a J. Crew model so I could pull off super androgynous clothes and not look like a lost cast member from ‘Oliver!’. But I no longer use my height as an excuse for anything. If a guy isn’t interested, my first thought isn’t, “Damn this oompa lumpine physique!” I think, “Shoot, there’s no spark there for him. Oh well, better luck next time”.
If someone has something against me because I have to walk a little quicker to keep up, then honestly they’re the worst and they’re probably that guy that stands in front of short people during concerts.
One more thing: Daenerys Targaryen of the House Targaryen, the First of her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar and the First Men, Queen of Mereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Protector of the Realm, Lady Regnant of the Seven Kingdoms, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons stands tall at 5’2”. So go out there and burn some shit DOWN my shorties.