Talking Point: 10 Things Nobody Tells You About Being Short

As a little girl I loved being one of the smallest kids in my class. It meant I could squeeze into all the best hiding places, and let’s be honest – there was nothing better than being the last one discovered during a game of hide and seek. Another perk to being small was that I looked absolutely adorable in my pretty summer dresses, and my grandma’s sister always told me nice things come in small packages – so I always felt pretty special.

However, being short as an adult is a whole different ball game. In fact, navigating everyday life can be a fucking nightmare if, like me, you’re on the shorter side. I’m five foot two and at least once every day, I face a new battle as a direct consequence of drawing the short straw. Here’s a list of ten things nobody ever tells you about being short.

  • Top shelves in supermarkets, libraries and clothes shops are uncharted territory. Even the top shelves of our kitchen cupboards are a no-go. There is literally a whole world up there we know absolutely nothing about. You haven’t stared shame in the face unless you’ve climbed onto the lower shelf in a desperate bid to reach for something before eventually calling it quits and asking a proper grown up for help.

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  • The slightest amount of weight gain makes you look like a human doughball. Seriously, there’s no hiding place for fat when you’re five foot.

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  • And if you happen to be a short girl with big boobs, clothes shopping is a minefield. Size 10 might fit everywhere else perfectly – but your boobs are one wrong move away from bursting out of your shirt sending buttons flying. And believe me, if there’s one thing that gives you the kick you need to play it safe and go up a size, it’s sneezing in front of your boss whilst wearing a tight shirt. I’ll let you do the maths. It’s equally frustrating to shop for a bikini, especially since so many shops sell the tops and bottoms together. I could need anything from a size 12 to a 16 to accommodate my boobs, but I’m still a size 8-10 everywhere else. It would be less than ideal if my bottoms kept floating away, wouldn’t it? But few shops consider this, and it makes holiday shopping a nightmare.
  • Accommodating big boobs as a short girl is struggle enough but finding a pair of trousers that actually fit and don’t break the bank is equally challenging. Regular are way too long, but anything petite is always so much more expensive. Why are we penalised for having short legs? Surely the fact less material has been used should make things cheaper to buy! 9/10 times I settle for regular and roll the bottoms up. The short girl struggle is real.

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  • Decorating is an absolute mission without a decent set of ladders, and you can forget putting the star on top of your Christmas tree. Unless your partner lifts you up like your dad used to, it just isn’t gonna happen.

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  • The entire concept of getting into, sitting comfortably and driving a car is exhausting. Firstly, we’ve got to adjust our seat so that our little legs can actually reach and use the pedals without our foreheads touching the windscreen. This is made even more difficult if you have big boobs – but on the plus side, we have two additional, inbuilt airbags. And when you finally manage to get your seat into a suitable driving position, you have a whole new issue to contend with – the sun visor. They never seem to be made with short people in mind, and no matter how much you angle it or crane your neck, you’re still going to be blinded by the sun. Driving can be a death trap. And god FORBID anybody borrows your car, you’ll be spending the next week trying to get your seat back into its optimum position.

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  • You feel like an actual toddler when walking alongside a person of normal proportions. On a night out, you’ll be a good foot shorter than your pals even when wearing your highest heels, and you’d better pray they never suggest taking a full-length group picture. Prepare to look like the kid the group got stuck babysitting. You’ll be told how ‘cute’ you are and at some point, some douchebag will use your head as an armrest. The only thing worse than being used as a human armrest is having your head patted like a dog by a tall person. Can you imagine anything more patronising?

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  • You’ll look equally childlike whilst doing every day, normal things such as sitting on a sofa. Your little legs will never touch the floor, and it’ll frustrate you way more than it should. And sometimes, you’ll find yourself running to keep up with people walking at a normal pace because your legs just don’t move that fast.

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  • Ever hopped on a tube, bus or tram? The race to scope out something to grab hold of when it starts moving (besides the guy beside you) is well and truly on. You’re sure as hell not going to reach the safety rail above you, so unless you want to hit the deck, you have to wedge yourself in somewhere safe.
  • You’ll never really know how the weather is ‘up there’.

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What struggles do you face as a small person? Or are you super tall and face a whole host of problems of your own? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

Lou x

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