By Aleeza Dessau
I have a confession to make: I am short. No, the weather isn’t any different “down here” than it is where you are and yes, I know that “great things come in small packages.” While there are many negatives to being short (those #shortgirlproblems memes are all too relatable), like getting pushed into some sweaty guy’s armpit on the subway, or getting shoved in the Stern elevator for a 9am class, there is always a matter of perspective- to try to see the silver lining living as a short person in a tall person’s world.
Before I get into all the advantages one has as a short girl, I think it’s important to explore the actual definition of being “short.” According to my friends on Wikipedia, short stature refers to “the height of a human being which is below typical.” Whether a person is considered “short” depends on the context in which the person is placed. This context could be historical or geographical. 200,000 years ago, the average height for a Neanderthal male was 5’5 and a female was 5’1. On a geographical level, a man living comfortably in the Netherlands averages at 6 ft and the average height for a woman is 5’7. In terms that are closest to home, the average American male is about 5’10 and the average American female is 5’4.
People tell me I don’t come off as short as I am. That’s because my big personality makes up for my height. But being short isn’t always something negative that one has to constantly defend; it has its highs and lows (pun intended). With the help of Fiona Rutherford and friends at Buzzfeed, as well as my own experience, I have compiled a list of the 8 perks of being short:
Perk #1 – You look younger than what you are. For starters, this solves all your future aging problems! Just think of yourself as one of the Twilight vampires…minus the thirst for blood.
Perk #2 – Clothes.👚 If this doesn’t change your perspective, I honestly don’t know what will! We are all college kids on a budget right? Well, when the going gets tough, just shop for half the price in your favorite Zara or J.Crew’s children store! Not only can you always find skirts that go to the knee, but you can have a collection of the cutest heels — because being short is the best excuse for buying those new stilettos!
Perk #3 – Human shields.🛡 Don’t wanna see that person you’ve been ignoring for hours on WhatsApp? Trying to avoid that guy you ghosted after a bad one-and-done? I recommend using your taller friends to hide behind when passing those unpleasant faces.
Bonus: they are also great for protecting you from the sun – instant sunblock.
Perk #4 – You tone your muscles. 💪🏼Cereal box on the highest shelf in the kitchen? Only able to see your forehead in the mirror? Have no fear! While being on your tippy toes all day, you are sure to develop the sickest muscle tone in your calves! (Better for showing those calves off with the collection of stilettos you own.)
Perk #5 – Front and center! Aside from little kids, you have an excuse to snag the best seats in the house for shows and parades!
Perk #6 – Unlimited legroom. Partly why I find traveling to be fun and exciting, I don’t have to worry in long car rides to Canada or even longer flights to Israel with this built-in perk.
Perk #7 – Win hide-and-seek. I’d like to let you in on a little secret: don’t ever challenge your short friends to a game of hide-and-seek. Take this as a warning – we will beat you! Mostly because we can hide in places you’d never think to check – try the laundry closet, locker, suitcase and even the washing machine!
Perk #8 – The look on people’s faces when they realize you are strong and independent and fully capable of doing everything they can do….and sometimes even better. This is one of my favorites that really drives me to accomplish many of my goals in life. Nobody likes to be underestimated, so proving people’s assumptions wrong has always been something that fuels my drive to succeed.
Height is just a number and beyond our control. Height can be perceived as an incapability to perform certain tasks – but not all the time! Many people in our history and culture are small in stature but have made a large impact with their capabilities, talents and influences such as Pablo Picasso and Harry Houdini (both 5’’4), Mahatma Gandhi (5’’5), Danny Devito (4’’11), Lady Gaga (5’’1), Kourtney Kardashian (5’’0) and Snooki (4’’8).
In short (last pun I promise), I hope you gained insight into the life of a short girl and have learned that it’s all about perspective! And please – next time you are with a short girl, don’t mistake her as your armrest!!!!