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Being Tall Means Me Essay

Being Short Doesn't Always Mean Coming Up Short in Life

by Chelsea Arthur

May 2011

I was born into a short family; in fact someone being tall in the family was somewhat of a rarity on both sides. I blame it on some of our Native American heritage. My mom was always a petite woman and I ended up following in her footsteps, both in my childhood and my adulthood. I am an intelligent woman; I have succeeded in many of my endeavors. I am married to a wonderful man who is much taller than my 4 feet 7.5 inches and we have a beautiful daughter who is seventeen months old. She is very happy and healthy but considered "short in stature" compared to some of height "statistics" for children her age. My friends are jealous of how quickly I got my figure back after having her. I've always been petite in height and in weight as well, something that my doctor gave me a hard time during my first visit when we found out I was expecting. It was almost as though he was accusing me of being too thin and this would put my child in jeopardy. She was born full term, was 6 lbs. 10 oz. and had no health problems what so ever. Ultimately I think he was full of it and over opinionated.

I have been blessed with several great things in my life but have also had hardships as well, some of them in regards to my height. One example occurred recently when my husband and I decided to have a date night together. We purchased our tickets at the ticket window only to find out later that I had been charged as a child by the clerk. A young girl who though taller than me; was probably fresh out of high school. Being twenty-four years old I felt that her assumption was a slap in the face. Sadly, I never was able to defend my honor because we did not realize she had charged me as a child until after the fact. After I had figured it out, I cried for hours and went into a depression for days. It sounds dramatic but I never liked my "womanhood" being questioned and I hate it when people sum you up based on height alone. I have a woman's body and a woman's demeanor but I am short. Unfortunately on top of that I inherited a youthful face from my mother. This face I think could make me pass as sixteen or seventeen but never as an actual little child. Some people would find these things as a blessing, aging gracefully, getting cheaper admission into movies and such, but to me it feels like a curse. All I want is to be treated like an adult because I am an adult. Often times people and their haughty attitudes hasn't allowed that to happen.

Once when pregnant with my daughter, I even had a stranger come up to me and chastise me for being pregnant. She stated that I was "too young". I explained to her my age, but she didn't believe me and hardly let me get a word in edge wise. Once again I was hurt and questioned why God chose to put me in such a tiny package.

Time has passed since both of those incidents happened. I think back to them both and look at my husband and child and see the blessing and can kind of laugh at people's arrogance. What is truly so wrong with being short? We can be just as sexy, just as smart, beautiful and successful. In fact, I am working on a book right now about my journey to the Catholic faith. I converted from a Protestant faith six years ago and decided to explain my stance and reasoning behind this decision. I know this book is going to be successful. I know this book is going to prove something for short people everywhere. I know that I am just as capable as the tall woman out there, maybe even more capable.

So, people are arrogant. They take one characteristic about you and turn it completely chaotic. To all the jerks out there, believe it or not, yes you can be short and still be an adult. Look at the whole package before making a judgment. To the girl who charged me as a child at the movie theatre, I know now how arrogant she really must be, especially since one day when wearing very tall high heels that same girl charged me as an adult and then proceeded to try to get a good view of my feet as I walked in. This was BEFORE she charged me as a child the next time around. I mean really, if you base who someone is on their height alone and live in such a small box, we the short people aren't truly the ones with a problem - YOU are. As for the woman who accused me of being a pregnant teen. One, it's none of your business and two, oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize you knew me so much better than myself and therefore can tell me who I am better than I can.

I'd rather be short than arrogant. When it comes down to it, what they think of me, will not change who I truly am. They cannot define me. The next person who gives me a hard time will get some harsh words from me because though I am learning to take the hurt from the situation and see the humor in it I am also seeing the stupidity and small mindedness of others. I realize now, I am not a freak of nature. God made me this way, and he sees it as beautiful. I have achieved much and will continue to achieve much. Being short can be downright sexy, beautiful, and undeniably fun it you let it.

Chelsea Arthur, Freelance writer, Wife and Mother
Age:24
From: Spartanburg, SC

I’m tall. I mean, I’m really tall. And I don’t mean 5’10” tall. I’m 6’1″. That’s ridiculously tall. Kermit the Frog once said: “It’s not easy being green.” Well, it’s not easy being a tall woman, either. Among the more common pickup lines we tall ladies hear: “Do you play basketball?” (No.) “What’s the weather like up there?” (Icy.) “I’d like to climb you.” (Really, I’d rather you wouldn’t.) While some women think being tall is something worth writing a book about, other women perceive it to be a disability equivalent to a clubfoot. Mostly, it’s a blessing and a curse. I can reach the highest shelves, but I’ll never blend into the crowd. Dating? That’s a whole other story. For guys who admire amazons, here’s how to bag a tall chick. 1. Stay Away from the Cheesy Lines. Speaking on behalf of tall women everywhere, I would like to deliver this breaking news: We know we’re tall. “Gee, you’re tall,” “How tall are you?” and “Do you play basketball/volleyball?” will not endear you to us. We live every day in these elongated bodies. Consequently, some of us suffer from Tall Girl Syndrome. We love our height, but we may be ambivalent about it, too. Standing head-and-shoulders above the rest doesn’t always feel so, well, girly. Hit on us about anything other than our height — our brains, our beauty, out favorite books — and leave the tall talk for Turk.

2. Get Over It. Maybe you’ve never gone out with a tall woman. Maybe you’re a little intimidated. Maybe she’s taller than you. When dating a tall woman, operate under this premise: She’s fine with the fact that she’s tall. Let it be fine for you. Unless we hail from Amazonia, intimidating the crap out of men is not our favorite past-time. If you feel intimidated, that’s on you. Relax! Get over it! Forget about it! Most vertically-endowed women don’t care how tall you are. They care what kind of man you are. Let her know who you are, and she may fall for you.

3. Treat Her Like a Lady. We can look Chad Ochocinco in the eye, but we’re like every other woman on the inside, so treat us accordingly. Do: hold my hand, tell me I look hot, put your arm around me. Don’t: ask me to hold my hand up to yours and exclaim over how big mine is, wonder out loud what size shoe I wear, request to breed a basketball team with me. My height does not my character make. I’d rather you open the door for me, send me flowers, or walk on the proper side of the sidewalk (the outside) than make me feel like a … freak. As kids, tall girls get teased for their stature. Not everyone was 5’10” in the eighth grade, you know. If you love our height, let us know! But don’t make a spectacle out of it. We’ll love you for it.

4. We’re All the Same Height in Bed. Honestly, I don’t totally get why men get so flummoxed about wooing skyscraper-sized women. Sometimes, I wonder if it’s sexual anxiety — are men worried they won’t “measure up” in the bedroom? We know we’re all the same height when it comes to sex. In terms of anatomy, the parts generally work themselves out. In all likelihood, I won’t end up marrying a midget, but, for the most part, height is no big deal when you’re doing the horizontal mambo.

5. And If You’re Worried About What Other People Think … You pick her up for a date. In stilettos, she’s waaay taller than you. Gulp. What will your buddies think when you roll into the party with a woman who towers above you? When other guys see a guy with a woman who’s taller than he is, they assume one of two things: A) He has a lot of money, or B) He’s really good in bed. Bagging a six-footer is big-game hunting. If you land one, everyone will assume you’re a baller. Now, get out there, and find yourself a tall woman. I bet she’s waiting for you — with her heels on.

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