7 Things You’ll Only Understand If You’re a Short Person

At the grand old age of 23, I stand at approximately 4’11. Basically, I’m one of those kids that people said “you just wait, she’ll shoot up”, and didn’t. I grew outwards, sure, but upwards? Forget about it. 

Being short as a kid is great. People think you’re innocent so you get away with murder, people think you’re weak so you never had to do any sports – heck, even at 17 you can get away with buying children’s tickets to everything and saving yourself a pretty penny. As you get older, however, you come to learn that there are certain annoyances saved for short people, and short people only. These are the 7 things you’ll only understand if too are a short person.

1. Everyone assuming you’re forever a teenager… A couple of weeks ago I jumped into a taxi back to mine from Keiran’s fairly early in the morning, setting off to get ready for work before heading into the office. As I sat, minding my own business in the back of the car, the taxi driver starts chatting to me about the usual: the weather, how busy he is, how bad the roads are. Then he turns to me and says, “so, you off to school then?”. OFF. TO. SCHOOL. I am 7 years too old to be a high school student, but he still thought I was about the right age. Le sigh. 
2. …and as a consequence, everybody thinking it’s okay to guess your age. If you’re short and your age is, in some people’s minds, obscure, then the exact number suddenly becomes the topic for open estimation. I stood at the IKEA checkout today, chatting to the girl about moving out and she says: “You look young to move out. Young in a good way though. What are you, 19, 20?” This happens all the time. I often get people – who know my age – saying things like “you don’t even look 23, you look like 18. Doesn’t she look 18? How old do you think Chloe looks?” If you’re short, suddenly people forget that it’s actually kinda rude to ask someone’s age, let alone guess it. 
3. Random guys picking you up on a night out. You know how on a night out, guys sometimes forget that personal boundaries exist? Well, step into the world of a short person. Not only is your arse up for a good grabbing, you’re also now a prime candidate to be picked up and carried off against your will, because, well, you’re small, right? What some boys think is a hilarious way of chatting you up is actually just the most annoying and invasive thing ever. Unless I know you – well – this is never going to go down well. 
Top – ASOS (sold out, similar here)
Trousers – Zara (Missguided similar here)
Hat – ASOS (sold out, similar here)
Bag – Zara (ASOS similar here)
Boots – Zara (River Island similar here)
4. Never-ending height jokes.
“Oh, you’re going to Thorpe Park? Better make sure you’re tall enough to ride the rides.” 

“Chloe, if you ever have children, how will anybody know who is the child and who is the mother?” 

“I guess you must struggle with storage space because you can never make use of a top shelf.” 
And the list goes on, and on, and on. Hey, I put my hands up, I love a good height joke every now and then – the more imaginative, the better. But honestly, I’ve heard every pun under the sun to do with reaching stuff, so if you’re going to come at me with some short person witty remarks, think up some original material. I’m going to be listening to these for the rest of my life, so at least make them good. 
5. The inevitability of always getting ID’d.
Someone asking me if I have my ID on me is a better joke than any of the above. For a short person, not having your ID on you is a guarantee that you won’t get served alcohol – even if I tried to buy cigarettes now, I’d still get ID’d. I’ve got my proof of age out and ready to hand over before I’ve even stepped into the bloody doors of Tesco, and if I’m heading to a bar or club, I check, check and then check again before jumping in the cab. If you’re a long-limbed lovely or regular weighted gal and you forget your ID, you have height on your side: you know that there’s still a chance you’ll get away with not having your licence. When you’re 4’11 and have the face of an adult baby, hell would freeze over before anyone thought I was of age. My ID is stuck to me like an extra appendage. And hey, at least if I die, the emergency services will know who I am pretty damn quickly. 
6. People asking you if you can give birth naturally.
The weirdest one of all, but it happens. When you’re of a “regular” height, people look at you and think, “yeah, she could carry a baby and pop it out, no problems”. When you’re short – especially if you’re very short – this suddenly gets thrown into question. Will the weight of a baby cause her to topple over due to the imbalance in weight? Won’t a baby just burst out? Can she even give birth naturally? My womb and it’s capabilities have been the topic of discussion one too many times, that’s for sure. 
7. People stating the fricken’ obvious. “Omg you’re so short!” “You’re so tiny!” “How little are you?!” And the award for the most obvious statements goes toooooo…

Photography by Hannah Gale

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