The perks & struggles of being vertically untalented

Updated on Apr 22, 2016
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I love being short. About a solid 27% of the time. Just like I love working out when I shamelessly haven’t been to the gym in 7 weeks; it feels good for a brief moment until you realize once again what a pain in the (sweaty) butt it is. At a solid 163cm or 5’4, the holy grail of Asos considers me just small enough to shop their wondrous ‘petite collection’ and so I consider myself a petite human being among our giant population that only seems to exist of supermodels walking the earth.
And all because my body decided to maintain it’s 14y old form forever. When everyone else was still developing their vertical talents, I too had hopes that one day my legs would be as long and gracious as those of Gisele Bündchen. It took me a long time to finally admit defeat -longer than I’d like to admit- and to come to terms with the fact that I was not born to be a supermodel. Or any kind of model for that matter (one word: chocolate. Okay, two words: chocolate & wine).

So every day anew I’m learning to handle the triumphs and trials of my vertically challenged existence. From not being able to reach anything on any upper shelves without having to grab the nearest kiddy stepladder (yes I own one of them, don’t judge) all the way to cute men friends going straight to and hitting on my tall friend when we be grooving in da club (or the nearest party where they serve wine, don’t judge). Said friend -or any other friend for that matter- always seems to lose me in said big crowds when we step on the dance floor. Luckily, I have a built-in identifier in form of my big afro hairball sticking out above the crowds so said friend can immediately identify her short friend being stuck at the bar trying to order a drink while standing on the tips of her toes.

Here is a short, and massively incomplete, list of other trials that I must deal with every day (ps: tall friends, you know who you are, pay attention):

Being used as an armrest at inappropriate times. Actually, there is never an appropriate time to do this.
When I switch in my heels for sneakers on one of my fuck-it days, I hear a lot of gasps, get a lot of stares and receive a lot of comments à la “I didn’t know you were so short” –> “Really, I hadn’t noticed.” The surprise-face men friends give me when I take off my heels at their apartment after a night about town reveal their thought process goes something like “She deceived me.” Yep I did. Long live pretty heeled shoes.
I always get stuck in the middle of the backseat. Always. I don’t think many people realize just how uncomfortable that middle seat is … right, because they never have to sit there.
Ankle grazing maxi-dresses become street-grazing dirty dresses if I wear them. And I love being a princess with long flow-y dresses. Imagine the many silent cries in the fitting room every time such gorgeous long dress looks like they put a kid in her mother’s clothes.

I also have an immense urge to massively eyeroll until my eye almost pops out of its eyeholder when magazines tell me to avoid certain styles because they make me look like a less flattering version of myself. If that were true, I wouldn’t be able to wear anything anymore because everything makes me look short; midi dresses, maxi dresses, culottes, wide pants, short pants, long pants, square pants … Like, no. Just no. I will wear trendy pieces and I will then gladly live with the fact that I look like a short, unflattering version of spongebob with said square pants.

Luckily I sometimes still get some triumphs out of being among the tiniest of humans. People are lucky to know me, since I have a big personality to compensate all that height, complete with a whole lot of sassiness and sarcastic nonsense. Yes, I like being mean. No, I am not going to apologize.
I also get to be prime front-and-center in group photos since sticking me in the back means that you’d just see the top of an awesome hairdo. I think of myself more than just a hairdo, thank you very much. I also get access to all the cute-and-also-vertically-challenged guy friends, there is a whole new world down here!

But most of all, us shorties maintain a great perspective on life because we are always looking up and therefore seeing all the positive things life has to offer. When we’re not struggling to grab things off of high shelves or admiring models on Instagram. Well, that’s still about 27% of positivity. Yay shorties!

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