Tis' April and we know what that means...my personal favorite issue of Vogue: the shape issue. This year was particularly good considering they managed to have one feature where they rounded up seven women to write about their least favorite body parts. Five of those seven have been things I've agonized over for most of my life: less than flat stomach, large thighs, sickly pale skin, flat ass, and worst of all...height. Oh how I hate it.
I've only been reading Vogue for a couple of years (yes I'm shallow) but they always find some tiny woman to represent the petite faction of the female population. And when I say tiny I mean tiny--quite unlike the magazine that once had Heather Locklear voted as "favorite petite celebrity" even though she stands a full inch above the national average of 5'4". Okay so maybe she is petite because she does have a tiny frame...but whatever. Back to what I was talking about. Vogue.
Two years ago the featured short female was Kristin Chenowith with a reported height of 4'11". Last year it was Kristen Bell at 5'1" (how I love her!). This year it's Allison Shearmur who I have never heard of but definitely fits the criteria at a demure 5'. I realize that it may not make sense to a lot of you out there but it actually makes me feel better to know that there are other people out there who suffer my height deficiency.
Please, don't anyone accuse me of having height issues. After all, there is no need to accuse if I admit it freely. I hate my height. All 4'10.5" of it (a very sensitive soul once told me "you know you're short when you count the fractions" thanks buddy you made my day) rounded down to the nearest half inch to account for human error. Time to wipe that shocked look off your faces, folks. Yes I am under five feet *gasp*. No I am not a midget (either 4'6" or under or 4'10" and under depending on your source) but I might be considered a "little person" (under 5') which kind of sucks. Yes, I have been asked if I was a midget by people who have asked me my height. Yes, most people seem to think I'm no older than fifteen and as young as twelve or thirteen which also kind of sucks. And of course, people tell you that it's a good thing to look like you're 13 at the age of 23 because when I'm 33 I'll look like I'm in my early twenties! I usually go along with that idea since it seems to make other people feel better and it's a hell of a lot easier than explaining that no, it doesn't really work tha way.
There are plenty of other reasons to hate my height aside from social stigma. First off, clothes. Can't ever seem to find find anything that fits well. Hems are always too long whether it be a pair of pants, a skirt, or sleeves. Factor in the fact that although I'm not exceptionally thin (actually I'm quite the opposite) I still find myself swimming in many extra-smalls. And there are other things, too. I can't reach the overhead compartment on planes. I find myself getting elbowed in the head (I'm totally serious) and half the time people don't even notice when they do it. I can't reach my own peephole without a stool?! Seriously...who needs a peephole more than a sub-five-foot Asian girl living alone (i.e. no one to check the peephole for her)?
There is a post on this page about an extremely tall man being asked if he was a basketball player (even though he clearly wasn't) just because he was tall. I mean, that sucks too. Stereotypes are annoying and frustrating no matter what they are. But come on, "are you a basketball player?" vs. "are you a midget?". I mean, at least some people thing basketball players are cool (and not a laughable and/or fetishy kind of cool).
It's getting a bit late and I think I typed too much but I will leave you with this quote from the woman whose least favorite body feature is her height.
"...You've never heard the phrase diminutive, dark, and handsome, have you? Nor, by the way, have you ever heard a parent say to a child, "Eat this spinach so you will grow up to be little and strong." Short people, it is true, d live longer, but with all those, ahem, shortcomings, what, really, is the point?
Now comes the complaining. It is not fair that I cannot, without putting on pounds, consume as many calories as do the more altitudinous. It is not fair that pint-size people are said to have Napoleon complexes, whereas tall people are never said to have Osama bin Laden complexes. It is not fair that we wee individuals are evidently considered too lightweight to be president. The last shorter-than-average American president, in fact, was five-foot-seven William McKinley, elected in 1896. But I am not complaining. I don't want to be president.
What I want is to be five foot ten and a half.
Patricia Marx, Vogue April 2007
I have not such lofty desires. All I want is to be 5' so I'll quit getting those looks from people who find out exactly how not tall I am. Is 1.5 inches really too much to ask?