9 Problems Only Short People Understand

I’ll be honest. I rarely realize how small I am (barely breaking 5'1") but when I become someone’s personal arm rest or I’m getting shoved around in a crowd, I can’t help but think about how much easier things would be if I were just a little taller. Skee-Lo, I feel you. 

1. Going to shows, plays, movies, etc. and getting stuck behind someone taller than you — or a series of people taller than you

It’s always a struggle to find the optimal viewing place when you’re on the short side, and you’re going to move around quite a bit looking for the best place free off any barriers (by barriers, I mean other, much taller people in front of you). The worst is when someone wiggles in front of you at the last moment and you have to decide whether to move once more or try and look around the back of their head for the next two hours. 

2. Wanting something from the top shelf

The kitchen, the grocery store, pretty much any place with high shelving creates a serious problem. If you’re short, you’ve likely scaled shelves and leaped onto counter tops in a desperate attempt to get that just-out-of-reach item you desire. You probably have a step stool hidden around your home and may have even pulled an arm muscle grasping at that thing you wanted that was cruelly placed on the highest shelf. 

3. If you can’t find a petite size, you’re pants are going to be too long

Prepare to roll up your jeans or get them tailored. Clothes weren’t made with you in mind; skinny jeans bunch at the ankles, maxi skirts and floor length gowns make you look like a tiny person in a big person’s clothing, and capris and cutoffs just look like poorly proportioned pants. 

4. Don’t ever try to hop fences or walls or barriers of any kind

Youthful shenanigans are going to end painfully and awkwardly if you, with your small frame and short legs, try and join the cool kids and hop that wall. You do not have the legs of a graceful gazelle, accept it and just do you. 

5. Sinking into couches and having to bounce off of bar stools

Couches, while big and comfy, are kind of like a sand pit and my feet will never, ever touch the ground. Bar stools pose a different problem because the height only accentuates my shortness. I cannot pull off “casually cool” when my legs are swinging and I need to awkwardly leap off to get down. 

6. Not being taken seriously when you’re upset

If I get angry, people often chuckle or think I’m kidding — my frustrations aren’t “cute,” so please listen to what I’m saying. 

7. If you’re young looking, everyone questions your age

I’m 23 and people think I’m a freshman in college — finally, I can at least pass as 19. The bouncer is always going to look at me incredulously when I try to get in the door. 

8. People want to pick you up, use you as an arm rest, and see if you can fit into small space

I am an adult, I am not a play thing, so please do not use me for your entertainment. This isn’t high school and I’m not going to see if I can fit into that suitcase. And for the record, when we go to amusement parks, I am tall enough for this ride. 

9. Having to always look up at people

There’s no real way to describe how uncomfortable it is to talk to someone while they quite literally are looking down on you. 

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Chelsea Hawkins

Chelsea is a radio producer and freelance blogger. She writes regularly for Mic and HelloGiggles; her work has been featured in KoreAm Journal, on Salon.com and in daily newspapers.

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