8 Problems You're Sure To Have When You're Always The Shortest Girl In the Room Rosie Stoff

In my 22 years of always being the smallest in the room and ending my growth journey at a whopping 4 foot 11.5 inches (yes, I’ll be counting that last half an inch with my last dying breath), I’ve almost figured out how to navigate the world and deal with the pesky problem that come with being like Thumbelina.

The odd problems I’ve encountered are as follows:

1. The Average Sized Pet Vs. Crotch

When walking up to the average sized dog, there is one place their nose is as direct level with: your crotch. Not only is it quite embarrassing having a dog’s nose sniffing your lady bits, but also it’s just plain inconvenient! Shuffle to the left, dog is there. Shuffle to the right, dog is there. Try and do a 180 spin. Dog’s nose is now in another inconvenient/embarrassing place. Golden retrievers, labs, all your mid sized and popular dogs cause this problem.

2. Assuring Potential Suitors That I’m Not 15

Sitting in a booth at a bar is not a problem. When a guy comes over, you start chatting, things are going nicely. Then you stand up and their face sinks. They are feeling like a pedophile. You have to read their face and assure them: I’m 22… not 15.

3. The Nickname

I WANT THAT ADORABLE NICKNAME DAMMIT! In elementary school I was not-so-lovingly called “shrimp”. Not the cute one I strive for. Minnie, peanut, anything is better than shrimp! I think I deserve it. I’ve handled my shortcoming with such grace.

4. No, I Don’t Have A Handicapped Pass

No, I can’t park in the handicapped space. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been asked if I qualify as a LP (little person). Through my research, I’ve learned that there isn’t the much believed “height limit”. And I am certainly not, as I was referred to by a drunk girl at a party in high-school, “Primordial Dwarf”.

5. You Must Be This Tall To Ride

Not that I ever really wanted to go on an amusement park ride, but a silly looking sign telling me I wasn’t tall enough? That hit a soft spot. Especially since I’m 22 and I’m assuming have still not reached the height limit… not that I’ve been to a place that has the signs since I was a child.

6. Running To Keep Up

While walking with friends, they are casually strolling down the street; I am at a light to medium jog to just barely keep up. Why am I only friends with amazons?

7. You Really Wonder Why I Hate Going To Clubs?

Not joking, it smells terrible at my level… armpit level. My nose is perfectly in line with the crowd’s armpits. USE SOME DEODORANT, PEOPLE! Also, getting trampled isn’t such a fun night. Remember in Superstar how Mary Katherine Gallagher’s parents died? Trampled to death in a dance competition? That is a 100% realistic fear of mine.

8. Wind

Totally unrealistic, but could a strong enough breeze literally carry me away? I mean a particularly gusty Santa Ana wind. This is also something I fear, though I think the dance thing is possibly more likely to happen.

Then again, after griping about the negatives, there are a few plusses… I haven’t HAD to buy shoes since middle school. I still fit into the flats I wore to my 8th grade graduation I recently found buried in my closet. I do look kinda adorable standing next to my Amazon friends. People at the market do offer to get things off shelves for me… usually. And is they don’t, they’ve got an evil stare coming their way. Big time.

And we cant forget the Randy Neman song ‘Short People’. That’s a good one.

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  1. I’ve always had more guy friends and one thing that used to really tick me off when I was younger is that they either went two ways, they used to wind me up about it constantly (at this point I still hadn’t learned to just ignore this) which gave me the awful feeling of being a bit of a drama queen; or they felt the need to “protect” you from the big wide world. I mean don’t get me wrong it’s nice for friends to have your back but just because I’m a bit smaller does not mean I’m incapable of fighting my own battles.

  2. What really sad is that when someone is not that much taller than you is trying really hard to make sure that you are aware that you are shorter, not sure what they are getting out of that but showing how insecure they are, to me at least.

  3. I’ve definitely been taken out by the wind. Ridiculous. And trying to kiss my 6’0″ boyfriend? Not happening if we’re standing up

  4. Totally relate, im 4′ 11.5″ as well. The dog thing is always an awkward moment of trying to twist and turn away without making the situation more obvious. I also find that when going out at night my younger sister gets all the guys attention as they think I am wayy to young and when at the mall I have 15 year old boys checking me out instead of the cute same aged guys, kinda sucks but all you can do is joke about. I love it when I tell people my real age and they just can’t believe it, I will be okay with looking 20 at 30 someday and I absolutely LOVE being the little one in the group :)

  5. My mum is your height (she insists on that last half an inch as well) and my sister only an inch or two taller but that could just be her hair. I being a guy managed to make it to all of 5’6″ meaning I’m the same height as the “average” woman in north america. Then they put on heels and are taller than me. Be thankful you aren’t a short guy or you’d have a whole nother list of odd problems.

    You also forgot one of the best things about being short, you don’t hit your head on low ceilings.

  6. …. and might I also add the huuuuge disadvantage of attending concerts/events where you’re forced to have to deal with an insurmountable view of everyone’s backs. You pay the same ticket price for the same spot as everyone else but you still get the suckiest view

  7. One thing I´ve learned from someone short is that there are alternate ways of dealing with issues apart from being big and strong (I´m 6 foot (1,82 m) and well over 220 pounds).
    She was a dwarf and her favourite expression was; Thankyou I love you too. She then added an allmost angelike smile with a pair of raised eyebrows. The result being that people would shut up and stare nervously ant their toes.

  8. Loved this! I’m 5’0″ and I can really relate. I hate going to festivals – not only yuck, but all I get to see is usually some guy’s back. People knock me over, too. I want to look elegant in dresses. I hate big dogs. I have been called “shrimp”, “little One” and “Polly Pocket” (kinda cute). Dresses never fit me in the shoulders. When I met my future father-in-law he said, “Wow, you ARE really tiny!” I’m in Western Australia and I find the girls here really tall compared to Montreal, where I am from. I’m a high school teacher and everyone is huge!

    And what about swimming pools? Everyone else is comfortably standing up and I’m treading water!

    I have learned to walk faster than most.

    That being said, I would rather be this extreme than the other. It’s fun being carded at 32, and I love it when my 6″0 husband has his arms around me. I can wear heels. And no-one ever asks if I play basketball. :)

  9. Hey, as the saying goes, “Good things come in small packages”!

    And short women are always super cute.

    :)

  10. YES! I absolutely relate to these, but especially #6. I have exceptionally short arms and legs. Once, in the 7th grade, I dropped my pencil and reached over my desk to try and grab it. My t-rex arms made it nearly impossible, though, so I reached as far as I could, causing my entire desk to topple over, and I landed head-first in a trash can. :)

  11. I didn’t realize how many ladies are out there that are under 5″. I’ve been 4′ 8-3/4″ since the 8th grade, and that was over 25 years ago – when everyone was at least 5′ 2″. And now that I’m 40yrs old, I really enjoy number 2, because most people cannot believe I’m 40. It really make me happy when a stranger assumes I’m 5-10 years younger than I actually am – especially when I get carded for alcohol purchases by someone who is clearly younger than me :-)

  12. At 5’0”, I particularly enjoy when a stranger will remark, “WOW, you are SHORT,” as if this is brand new information. Why, you don’t say.

  13. At 5′ 0”, I also enjoy when people look at me and exclaim, “WOW you are SHORT,” as if that is brand new information. Why you don’t say.

  14. Ha ha, spot on! With my 4’10.4 (4’11.5 on a good day, only happened once), I can really relate to this! :)
    Actually, in my old school, I found a girl, who was just a tiny bit smaller than me, and I walked right beside her most of the time, because I loved the feeling of beeing the “tall” one! ;)

    One good thing about shortness; at concerts, people tend to be very nice, to help you forward, and closer to the stage! :)

  15. I was introduced to the Randy Newman song in high school. As the 4′ 11 3/4″ girl, I really feel these. I was so excited when my feet finally hit a 6.5 and I could buy heels; some friends envy me that I can still shop in the kid’s section and get those red glitter mary janes. I developed a speed-walk to keep up with my longer-legged friends, but now I get complaints that I walk too fast! The worst one for me, though, is sitting in chairs that are meant for taller people where my feet don’t touch the ground. It gets me every time.

  16. I’m 28 and I’m 4′ 10″ maybe 4′ 10.5″ on a good day :P though i swear i’m getting shorter as i age. I live in Hawaii, so the median height is shorter than on the mainland. But still, I have experienced people just plain walking into me because I’m just below their eye line. It really sucks.

    Even though I’m pretty much the shortest person wherever I go, I’ve found that I walk quicker than most. My husband always says, “Stop running away from me!” Haha….I dunno, I just like getting places as quickly as possible.

    My friends don’t really have any cute nicknames for me, but my husband calls me “munchkie” and i like it. He says it with love, not demeaning.

  17. well, you’re a giant to me! I don’t have the .5 to tack on!
    I would add to your list—there is nothing that makes you feel less professional than sitting down on a chair in an office and having your feet dangle! Anyone remember Edith Ann??

  18. Number 6 and 8, hah! Accurate! Couldn’t have said it better myself. I’m 5’1″ but still, even that is enough to have to practically RUNNING to keep up with my 6’2″ boyfriend. And he wonders why I cling onto his arm when it’s windy out, my balance is poor to begin with then add a gust of wind and I feel like I’ll trip on my back and skid like a tumble weed LOL!

  19. Whilst I totally relate to the sucky things in this post, I’m glad to be little (5’1″).
    I do however hate that I have to climb on my kitchen counters to get things all the time. I’m 1’1″ shorter than my partner, and other than the neck pain trying to look at and/or kiss him standing up it’s no problem. My tiny feet is a weird one; I realised in one store recently I can only wear children’s shoes (bummer), meanwhile, the teeny ladies shoes tend to get left over for the sales (yay), so, meh.

    Bonus: I realised a while back, my height is the reason I don’t just walk but practically march everywhere, so I’m like, super efficient at getting places.

  20. #2 or constantly wondering if men are into you because they like you or because you look like you are 15.. Really puts a damper on things. I will tell you that goes away by 30.

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