Let me start this post by saying that I am 1,55m tall. 1,55m – and not “about 1,60” or even “almost 1,65” as I used to put it. And I’ve been this height for almost 10 years now. I remember changing my doctor at the age of 14, and when I went there for the first time he took all my measurements. Then I went there again when I turned 18 and I had grown one proud centimeter. Do you have any idea how desperate I was?
Why don’t I have long legs like all my friends do? Why can’t I wear mini skirts and look sexy like the other girls? Why do I have to look like 12 when I’m actually 18? And most of all, why are my legs all sturdy and my chest yet flat?
You have to know: I absolutely hated it. I hated every single fact about my height. But do you want to know how it all started? It started when people started commenting on how short I am. I hadn’t actually noticed it before that.
Lottie, why are you so short? Lottie, didn’t you drink enough milk as a child? Have some more food, maybe you’ll still grow. Should we lift you up so you can write on the blackboard? When there was a fire alarm, my classmates would joke about having forgotten me in the building, until the suddenly “discovered” me down below them. It didn’t take very long until all these comments changed the way I saw myself. Before I had been the girl who liked to draw, liked to sing, read a lot, was good at school. Suddenly I saw myself as the girl with the super short legs who just looked ridiculous between her classmates.
I thinks it’s stereotypical that the chubby kid in class doesn’t want to go to swimming class or P.E. because he well have to get undressed in front of the others. He will hide in school photographs and won’t go to the front of the class, being afraid of getting bullied. I felt exactly the same way. I hated having to go swimming, because as the other girls looked sexy in their bathing suits, having long legs, big boobies and small waists. I with my stubby legs and flat chest just wanted to hide. And we were constantly playing basketball in P.E. which resulted in lots of names and jokes on my behalf. Outside P.E. class I tried to wear high heels and somehow look taller, which was absolutely impossible. I tried thousands of diets, because I figured that if my proportions were any better that would make me look taller. It all made me feel like crap.
You always hear about fat people going through rough times, because they diet and they’re bullied. Did you know that short people have feelings too? Why didn’t you grow then? Are your parents short too? You dad isn’t that short, why are you? Is it because of your allergies? Is it because of your medication? Do you think you still have a chance to grow?
Do people actually think it’s ok to say these things? I can understand that most of them don’t see it as an insult, but having gone through years of bullying and jokes on my behalf, all those questions hurt too. You would never ask an obese person if he thinks that he’ll ever lose weight, would you? Just imagine: Are your mummy and daddy as fat as you? Do you think you’ll ever be slim? So why ask me?
Thank god over the last years my attitude has changed a lot. I’ll be honest, there are still things that I hate about my body. My legs are just as sturdy and yet wobbly as they’ve always been, I don’t really have a bum or breasts and my eyebrows don’t have the same shape. And old wrinkly grandma hands, anyone? I am however much more content with the way I am at the moment. These legs can run half marathons. Thanks to my little boobies I don’t have any problems running (and I know my friends wear double bras and they’re still in pain!). Apart from that my nose is small and pretty. My tummy is flat and I can wear crop tops. And I’m so much more than my looks. Actually I’m quite good the way I am.
Moral of the story here though is that I don’t really think it’s ever acceptable to comment on anybody’s weight, height or looks in any way. Compliments are fine! But anything else is really dangerous, because opening your mouth might actually wreck someone’s day, if not life! And you have no reason to do that! Plus, just imagine if everyone in this world was slim and tall? Wouldn’t that be quite a boring world?
We’re all different. And that’s what makes us interesting.
I love you all, just the way you are!
Pictures by Kasper Garam