Standing tall as a short person

Illustration by Scott Gonzales

Illustration by Scott Gonzales

Gaby Yap, asst. opinions editor

Society has not always been the kindest to short people. 

There has never been a shortage of embarrassment for me and my fellow short stacks. From getting picked last for sports teams in gym class or looks of pity if you couldn’t reach something high up in your locker, being short has never been an insecurity you can just cover up. 

Even now, being short is something I am constantly reminded about every day, whether it be just standing next to a taller person in the hall or being paired up with a taller student in class. For years of my adolescence, I had hoped that my lack of vertical-ness was just a lull, and that I would one day (literally) grow out of it. But, time went on, and I still found myself having to look up to talk to my peers. 

As my hopes fell short, so did my hopes that people would be more accepting of me and other short people.

I found I couldn’t go a day without at least one of my peers making remarks about my lack of height. Anyone deemed the “short friend” of the group, I’m sure you can agree. Most unfortunate about this situation, however, is not the self-consciousness that comes with it, but the fact that some people are not willing to see this as insulting to a person. 

Whether it’s a “joke” or not, when is it ever okay for a person to insult a physical trait a someone can not control?

“Are you even tall enough for that?” 

“You’re so cute and little.” 

“I bet reaching the pedals when you drive is a struggle for you.”

These are all comments I’ve let slip by and laughed off. 

For anyone who has had the displeasure of hearing similar comments: do not trade your self-respect just to avoid awkward confrontations. Do not just brush off the “jokes” that make you feel uncomfortable and push past the point of insult. 

And to those people making these comments: pick on someone your own size. 

For my fellow vertically-challenged people, be proud of whatever fun-sized cards you have been dealt. Don’t wait to grow that extra inch; you don’t have to be the tallest one in the room to be the boldest.