My current height is 5 feet, 2.5 inches. I do not know when I “stopped” growing, but I do remember measuring myself on a Star Wars Episode 1 themed height chart in the eighth grade. My measurement then was 5’2”, and it stayed that way for years. That last half-inch came from a weird period of body change after I turned 18. In elementary school, I was taller than most of the other kids but that obviously changed as we got older. So, I am and now always will be “short.
Being “short” is not and never was a very strong part of my identity. However, the “standard” for people is to be at least average height, if not tall. Models generally have to be at least 5 feet 6 inches, and the media generally focuses on taller people, specifically in advertisement. Some of my short stuttered peers might feel ashamed of their height because the world is not always made for us! If you are one of those people, think twice before you feel down about yourself, because there are many benefits to being short! Here are some of those benefits:
I will say that I am absolutely no expert in fashion, or style, or any of that. My wardrobe contains mostly jeans, shorts, and t-shirts. But if you are like me and enjoy a good t-shirt, one benefit to being short is that you are able to expand your t-shirt choices by venturing into the children’s clothing section. An adult Small and child’s XL are very close to the same size. The only difference might be cost. Children’s clothes always cost less than adult clothing, even if they use the same amount of material. I check out the Boy’s section mostly for new t-shirts, they come in solid colors, patterns such as stripes, and of course character t-shirts. This is especially helpful if you have a particularly short torso.
One item that will save you a bit of cash if you can get it in a child’s size, is under shirts, or “A-frame” tanks. Again, a boy’s XL is very close to an adult Small and you might be able to save a couple extra bucks by buying XL boy’s under shirts.
Due to personal style preferences, I generally buy men’s clothing. On my short legs, shorts that would end slightly above the knee on an average-height man, look more like capris on me. I think there are more options for shorties to expand the wardrobe and try different styles, as opposed to normal height or tall people.
Practicality/Accessibility to the Floor:
For sure it sucks when there is something far back on the top shelf at the grocery store, just out of fingertip’s reach. But I think most people don’t give credit to the practical applications of a short stature. Not everything is up high, when you are short it’s not as much effort to get things that are down low. And accessibility to the floor is another benefit. Need to get that bowl on the bottom shelf of the cupboard? Something roll under the couch? Not as much bending or stooping required for us to get these items. My favorite practical aspect of being short is the lack of bumps on the head from hitting things. Upper door jambs, tree branches, awkward basement stair ceiling configurations….I don’t have to worry about bumping my head into things as much as average-height and tall people do.
Here is my mom and I at Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. No bumping the head here!
The “Cute” Factor:
Several years ago, I went with a friend to pick up some people I hadn’t met before. When we arrived at the destination and I got out of the car, they made note of my shortness by saying “it adds to her cuteness”. It can probably be safely said that people of a shorter stature look less threatening. Shortness can be associated with youth as well, and you may very well look younger than your age to others if you are shorter. Some sources even state that shorter people live longer (http://www.shortsupport.org/Research/samaras.html). Overall, short people might be seen as more approachable, nicer, etc. I feel this might be especially true of children, that they feel a shorter person is more “their size”, and so they are more open to a shorter person than to an average-height or taller adult.
A word out to my fellow shorties - be proud! Love your short self and relish in these benefits that only we get to enjoy.