Confessions Of A Really Short Girl


There comes an age when some preteen girls decide on their future careers; they take endless selfies and watch season after season of American’s Next Top Model to learn the precise art of “smizing”. I’m pretty sure that the reason obesity rates for my age group went up the particular year most pre-teen girls did this was due to my revelation that I was about 7 feet too short to ever walk any runway. This revelation secured its role as the scapegoat to what became my personal motto — life is simply too short to not eat the last piece of cake, and while glamorous as it might be, a career as a walking clothes hanger was simply not in my future plans.

As I got kicked out of the preteens and eventually the teens, I remained the shortest of my friends. This status as “the short one” or bluntly put, “the one under 5’3” has lead to many observations about the life of tall and the others who are a little vertically challenged.

Firstly, those of the not-so-tall variety are obsessive over their heels. My nights going out were spent in platform heels attempting to fit in with my modelesque friends. Now, one would assume that constantly wearing heels would equate to actually being somewhat mobile in said footwear.

Somewhat mobile is an overstretch.

As someone who is hyperflexiable, my wonderful ankle joints join in with the rest of my joints and do as they please. In other words I have weak ankles. Since I fell about three times per night out due to my ankles’ extreme distaste towards my six inch heels, “Weak Ankles” became my nickname for the better part of two wonderful years. And during these two years, I had swollen ankles, numerous x-rays, suffered my doctor’s scowls about 500 times, and realized that running around with ankles that resembled those of a baby elephant was not only unwise, but extremely stupid.

Then one day two summers ago, I pretty much said, “Screw it.” That was the last time I bought a pair of heels. Every time I went out that summer, I wore my Birkenstocks. I realized that I was so short that there was no point in pretending I suddenly sprouted a couple inches. Furthermore much to the horror of my friends, I realized that if I wore shoes that didn’t make me want to rip out my hair, the entire bar would be blessed with the horrid dancing that is “my groove.”

I was no longer that drunk girl who took her shoes off on her way home, or who had to carry a huge purse with her out just to fit her flats. Instead I became that girl who put her friends to shame by wearing Vans and dancing like she was doing some tribal voodoo.

This became that point where I realized embarrassing myself and my friends in public and embracing my 5 foot 2 frame was a whole lot more fun than falling and pretending I was a mere three inches taller.

Secondly, tall girls are extremely protective of the few men who surpass the 6 foot something barrier. You see, I maybe short but I do not remember signing a contract to only date those under a certain height because I resembled a hobbit. In fact, I do believe that anyone I have ever dated has been over 6 feet tall. This does not sit nicely with my tall friends. The amount of times I have heard that I should stick to people my own height… But really, I ask you, if I can’t take something down from the top of the closet, who’s going to get it for me if I stick to someone my own height? I’ve got to think rationally here.

In all seriousness, though, tall women complain about how tall they are and short women complain how short they are. I will never be tall, and they will never be short (unless they make it to age 94 and shrink a foot or two). I have given up on wearing heels and hope that sometime in the future minions and hobbits might walk the runway. But for now, I will continue to receive condescending looks from fashionistas at the bars and bouncers alike, snarky comments from my tall friends and my tip toes will continue to be my secret weapon in group photos.

featured image – Helga Esteb /