I’ve never been able to touch my feet to the ground when I sit all the way back in movie theater seats. My prom dresses that have been custom-altered to fit me are hard to sell, and wearing a maxi dress? HA. No way. When I run, my stride length is about the length of my forearm. I don’t know what the tops of most people’s heads look like, and I can’t cook in our apartment kitchen without a stepstool.
At 5’2″, I qualify as what most would consider “short.”
I’ve always been fine with being short. In school, apart from the normal “Let me stand next to you so I can see how tall I am” comments, I was never teased for my height. While my height meant I was never gifted at sports that involved running (my legs are just too short), I never saw any major setbacks from being my height.
But I’d like to make one thing clear. While I consider myself “short,” I’ve never considered myself “fun size.”
One of my pet peeves growing up was seeing those shirts that said, “I’m not short, I’m fun size.” I always felt like these shirts and other similar slogans made being short seem like a gimmick. “Short people kick butt because it’s all we can reach.” Really?
I’m all about playing up your features and embracing your body as being beautiful. And I like my height just fine. But there’s something that gets annoying about being short always being associated with being cutesy. I know some men find short women cute. Well awesome, score for me! But being short doesn’t put me in the box of being “cute” in the same way bunny rabbits are “cute.” I’m also just a normal person with normal mental faculties who is living life as everyone else is. When I hear “fun size,” I just imagine being a short forty-year old woman who has a career. Who really wants to be considered “fun size” at that age? No one, that’s who.
I know it’s all in jest, so trust me, I’m not trying to make more out of short jokes than there is. But I also am not a fan of these jokes that attempt to demonstrate not only why short people are cuter, but why we’re just generally more awesome. One of my (least) favorites:
God only let things grow until they are perfect…Some of us take less time than others!
Jokes like this suggest that either short people feel like they have some serious compensating to do or that we actually just believe we’re ten times better than everyone else. (I think it’s the former, not the latter.)
As I said, I am happy being short. I don’t hit my head on things. I can wear dresses that would be considered provocative on others (the dress is supposed to be thigh-length, it’s knee-length on me). I never have to worry about guys who aren’t tall being intimidated to date me (as if that’s applicable now; my boyfriend is 6’2″). But being short is never something I’ve considered to even play up or play down. Being short is not a gift from God or some sort of curse. It’s not something to brag about or to be ashamed of. It’s literally a product of genetics.
As a short person, I view short-people sayings as superfluous. I find it silly to draw attention to something that, while it’s certainly affected my life, hasn’t changed how I view myself or the world in any profound way. Being short may have its advantages, but I would rather not be put in the same box of “cute” as stuffed animals and babies. So don’t get me wrong, I can take a joke. But when it comes to being short, I can have fun without being fun-sized.