Coming in just under 5 feet tall, I’m definitely a short girl. Even when I buy petite in pants or skirts, I have to immediately tack on the extra $10 to $15 to have them hemmed, because they’ll still be a little bit too long. Why stores can’t figure in the fact that a woman might be shorter than 5’3” is beyond me, but until I start making the big bucks and can have everything made specifically for my height, I’ll just have to deal. I also have to accept that my growing days are behind me and the fact that my baby sister is four inches taller than me.
Being a short girl has its ups and downs. On one hand you never, well, almost never, have to worry about dating a guy shorter than you. But on the other hand, you’re height will prevent you from being a runway model which, let’s be honest, kinda sucks. But being the next Cara Delevingne isn’t where the tragedies end. Here are 10 things only short girls understand.
1. You can forget about ever reaching anything on the top shelf at the store.
Realizing that I’ll never be able to reach the top shelf without the aid of a friendly stranger or employee of the store, I’ve built my shopping around where things are situated. For example, the closest bodega to my apartment keeps the toilet paper and paper towels on the top shelf, while the Duane Reade a block further away has them on an accessible shelf. If I’m feeling like I don’t want to ask for help, I’ll walk that extra block.
2. Unless you have front row tickets, you might as well skip seeing live music.
As a former college DJ and someone who used to cover indie bands for some NYC music blogs, I used to go to a lot of shows. I’d go to shows a few times a week and thanks to my passes, I’d get to be up front and, boy, was I happy camper. It was when I no longer had access to the front row, where I could see everything perfectly, that I lost interest in going to shows. Standing in the middle of the crowd staring at someone’s back for a couple hours is no fun.
3. You’re told you're "cute" far more than you would like.
My miniature size has put me in the cute category and, honestly, I hate it here. While the men I’ve dated have been kind enough to sometimes notice the fact that I can be sexy, I’m usually just “cute.” It’s like the term “sexy” is reserved for women who have legs that are the size of my whole body.
4. You literally can’t function without a step stool.
I learned long ago, that a home is not a home without a step stool. Or, to be more specifically, so much storage will go to waste if I don’t have one. The ceilings in my apartment are so high that, of the four shelves in the kitchen cabinet, I can only reach the first two, so I’m on the step stool almost every day.
5. Going to the movies always requires some strategy.
As a short girl, even if the movie theater has seats on a slanted floor, if someone gets right in front of me, I can kiss seeing anything goodbye. My strategy is to put my coat on the seat either right in front of me or one seat to the left, so as to suggest a “no fly zone” type of situation. If some fellow moviegoer asks if it’s my coat, I innocently reply, “No. I think someone is sitting there actually… they might have just gone to get food or something.”
6. Just to stay in step with your friends requires a whole boatload of effort.
Even when I ask my friends to slow down, I still have to play catch up. What this always results in is me being out of breath and, especially in the summer, a sweaty mess because I’m going double — sometimes triple — the pace just to stay within earshot.
7. You realize it makes more sense to stay home and drink, instead of trying to get a bartender to see you.
OMFG. I can’t even count all the times I’ve all but thrown my body onto a bar top just to get a bartender to see me. I’ll even offer to pay for round after round for tall strangers, just so I don’t have to deal with the struggle of trying to order a drink for myself.
8. You can only imagine how fun it might be to have sex in a chair.
Why? Because your damn feet can’t touch the ground so you have nothing beneath you to work with ― just air and there’s no balance in air!
9. You’re always relegated to the middle when three people are in the back seat.
As a New Yorker who doesn’t drive, my knowledge of cars is moot. Because this is the case, I have no idea why that hump in the middle of the back seat exists. All I do know is that whenever I’m going somewhere and three or more people have to squish into the back, I’m forced to take the middle because, “Your legs are short. You can fit.” Ugh.
10. You’re constantly being asked your height.
While I know the same can be said for tall girls, us short girls, too, are constantly asked how tall we are. I’m 4’11 ¾” ― you got a problem with that?