#625 Really, really short people

They’re short and there’s nothing they can do about it except learn to live with their crazy shortness. For this reason, we respect them and think they’re cool.

If you’re really, really short, you feel it, because this is your life:

Forget seeing anything at concerts. Sure, everybody loves being behind you, but at what price? The standing area is a bad scene and mosh pits are strictly off limits. No, you’re stuck sitting at the bar or watching from the balcony.

• You can’t reach anything. Kitchen cupboards and closest shelves are bad enough, but the worst is when you find yourself somewhere alone and stoolless. People, if you’ve ever found yourself climbing the hotel bar fridge to reach the coffee filters or stepping on the metal grocery store shelf to reach the hot sauce then you know what I’m talking about.

Hard to date people. Well, not hard, but complicated. I mean, would you date someone really, really short? If not, you see the problem here. And don’t even get me started the short-guys-dancing-with-tall-girls things. Fellas, I been there, too. It’s not easy.

• You can forget about that pro-volleyball career. You might still make it as a referee, but that’s about it.

• You’re constantly adjusting driver’s seats and mirrors. On top of that, really, really tall people complain when they get in the car after you and have to adjust everything because they can’t fit.

• Some roller coasters are off limits. Minimum height requirements are clearly relics from a discriminatory society that inhabited this land before us.

It really is a tough life.

So next time you see a really, really short person, break out the empathy. Remember: they’re short and there’s nothing they can do except learn to live with their crazy shortness. Sure, they buy cheaper children’s clothes, find the best spots in Hide and Seek, sleep easier on couches, easily avoid walking into tree branches, are more comfortable at movies, and curl nicely into cramped spooning arrangements, but they also have to live life with a lot of limits. In this upside-down and inside-out world, that’s worth something.

So go on and throw them a smile and a nod, a cracking high five, and some quiet and humble respect.


Photos from: here, here, and here

183 thoughts on “#625 Really, really short people

  1. This post made me want to shoot myself. Really was expecting the opposite when I came here, not someone telling me why my life must be terrible….geesh. Couldn’t you have just said short people can maneuver through large crowds and leave it at that? If you had any taste at all you would delete this.

  2. As soon as I read the post, I knew there would be a bit of backlash (even though its in the same format as the ‘really, really tall people’) post. There are more short people out there than tall people, and height is a sensitive subject for many. That being said, I think the part about shorter life spans is probably what people don’t like-its not really awesome being told you’re going to die before others -even if its true. Those who have followed this blog daily know that thats not what the author was trying to convey with the post.

  3. It’s human nature to classify ourselves using extremes. If we’re not one, then our mind tells us that we’re the other.

    With that in mind, if you’re not hitting your head on the doorframe every time you enter a building, then chances are you were thinking of yourself when you read this post. If that’s true, and you haven’t read the really, really tall people post (which was written to be identical to this one), then you might have thought Neil was nineteen feet tall, and an insensitive jerkwad to boot.

    If we think for about three seconds, all of us can come up with something that we’d like to change about ourselves that we can’t. For some people, being really, really short, or really, really tall is their thing. We all have our own crosses to bear.

    The message here is that we all have things that make us unique, and while we may wish we could change some of those things, sometimes we can’t. We are who we are, and life gives us the privilege of embracing our individuality and having our own go at the world.

    That’s pretty awesome in my book.

  4. Hi, I love this blog, most of the time.

    I didn’t like this post at all. I’m 5’3″ and I have a pretty good sense of humor about my height. Yet I don’t think anyone should have to “lighten up” about this post – if they found it offensive, there’s a reason for it, and they’re entitled to their displeasure.

    I can understand that the writer may be a short person themselves, and writing a bit tongue-in-cheek, but it’s not working. If so much of the audience isn’t getting it, then the writing isn’t successful.

    What bothered me was there were 7 paragraphs about why being short is NOT awesome and only one paragraph about why it is. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

    1. That’s exactly how I would have put it. Why do people get bashed for their opinions of this post? If you didn’t like it, you are entitled not to like it, and the comment board is there for all opinions on the post. I am a tall girl, but this still seemed to point out more negatives than positives about being short. And I read the really tall people post, but those “negatives” didn’t seem to be as bad as the ones pointed out for the really short people. Can’t win them all, but please respect all opinions on the matter!

  5. I am 4 11. I married a 6′ guy. His family (esp. his sisters are always teasing me. One of them even made fun of me one time saying I wore high heels because I was a “tall wannabe”. Let me tell you guys, if you are the only ones laughing at your jokes, perhaps you are being offensive.
    I am not talking about this blog in particular. The topic just stroke a nerve, as I was reading a facebook posting from one of my sisters-in-law about one of my pictures. She was asking when I was finally going a grow up. Funny, huh?

  6. I’m 4’10” and considered a legal midget. I can get a handicap sticker for my car and I can get scholarships all based on my height. I LOVE being short. :] Sure it has it’s down sides, when I go to a restaurant I still get asked if I want a kids menu, but hey, the food is better on those menu’s anyway.

  7. I’m not really, really short, but yes, I’m short and have a quite small frame, (well I’m Asian). But I just love the way I am.

    Good things come in a small packages. :)

  8. 32 and 4’6” and I totally rock, so all you whiners out there can bite me. This was freakin hilarious. And yes, I wear kids clothes. And my husband is 5’10”. And my 12-year-old dwarfs me. And I climb grocery store shelves. But I’m not uneducated, nor do I make less than anyone else at my job because I telecommute and my boss can’t see that I’m half the size, so she can’t come to the conclusion that I only need half the money. My feet can’t reach the pedals on the cars at the Nascar Speedpark in Myrtle Beach, though, so that kinda blows. Oh, and I’m not a midget…..I’m just that cool.

  9. I’m not incredibly short anymore, but I used to be. Until I got to high school I was always the smallest, or one of the smallest, in my class. As such I’ve always liked being friends with short people. Solidarity and what have you.

  10. I think that the New York Times article was used out of context, and that’s probably my only real issue. In reading that article, its main point was trying to show how fighting a war against obesity is like fighting a war against height, and how ridiculous that would be because it isn’t an objective stance for health.

    It compares obesity and height, which, according to our current standards of health go hand in hand. (Body Mass Index.) Which is where all the statistics come in about short people…but that doesn’t mean that a tall person who smokes a pack a day and doesn’t exercise will outlive a short person who is overweight and exercises on the BMI scale. Tests have been shown that shorter people who are over the BMI scale for their age group are actually healthier than some people who fall in the right range.

    I don’t think this article was meant to be malicious so much as fill the gap for a “short” article after the “tall” article. So shorties can be represented. This didn’t offend when I read it, but I was just confused about the choice of article.

  11. I wasn’t so much offended by this post as I was disappointed that it leaned so heavily toward the negative. This site is about things that are awesome, so why not spend most of this entry talking about the awesomeness of being short? PrarieGal listed several things, and I’ve got a few more:
    • Our feet don’t hang off the end of the mattress.
    • We rarely have to duck under branches overhanging the sidewalk.
    • We have lots of leg room in the front seat of a car. And if you’re a tall person sitting in front of us, feel free to slide that seat all the way back, because we’re fine.
    • We can sit Indian style in the movie theater.
    • Sleeves are always long enough.

    Oh, and I’m 5’0″ and my boyfriend is 6’6″. Other than the neck pain from prolonged kissing while standing up, it works out pretty well. Much better than one would expect. ;) I’m so glad we didn’t disregard each other because of the height difference because he’s the best thing that ever happened to me. :)

  12. AMEN!! I hear ya on this one. I read on a shirt that, “I am not short, I am fun sized.” I want this shirt so bad. I happened to marry a very tall man, so he gets all the high things down for me.
    When he isn’t around, I have to climb. The other day at the store I needed a something from the very back of the top shelf….no tall people were around and all the employees were too busy to help. I first started by trying to lift my 4 year old up to see if she could reach it….she couldn’t. So there was nothing left to do, but to climb the shelves.
    So…this post means that I am awesome…..I can deal with that. :-)

  13. I don’t think shorter people die earlier. It’s just that different people are more prone to different issues. Tall people have their own sets of worries.

    And it doesn’t matter if you are tall or short.

    It only matters when you think it’s bad to be tall or short. Everyone is cool. XD

  14. I’m 5ft 3′ and I wasn’t offended by this post. People can say some very stupid things, but I believe it says an awful lot more about them than it does about you. I say this with particular regard to Lydia and her ‘in-laws.’ So if you can, smile sweetly and let them continue to bury themselves. Someone once said to me, “Ah, you’re only small, aren’t you?” I replied, “Yes, but my life is BIG.”

  15. As someone who is not quite five feet tall, I’m glad that someone finds my short height to be awesome! Touched…really

  16. I’m 5’5 and a guy (and single). Height is something I factor in when thinking of girls, and it really depends on my mood how I feel about it. You can’t change your height though, so why bother worrying.

    This article was the only one I read comments for and probably the only one I ever will. Very entertaining, the back and forth!

    Love the blog! This article didn’t phase me.

  17. I am 5′ and don’t think I would have a problem getting dates if I were not with my husband (was boyfriend) of 10 years. I get compliments about my hotness all the time. Being short is great, no empathy required for me.

  18. K, so you write great. But not all of this is true about short people… My mom is 4’10. I’m 4’9, supposed to be 5’1 because i’m not done growing. But does it really make you feel bigger when you insult us like that? Shorter life span, uneducated, get paid less, hard to date… wow. thanks. If you wanted to make me feel like shit, well, mission accomplished.

  19. I think more than anything, this post has pointed out the intrinsic self confidence issues that many short people live with every day. Simply by contrasting this with the tall people post, it’s clear that the offense taken is more related to a personal need to defend insecurities rather than pointing out that this post is any different than the tall people one. Tall people are just generally more comfortable and secure in their own self, and if you’re curious as to my source of this information, it’s Neil’s blog.

    I’m shorter than average. It’s not inherently awesome, but I make it awesome by laughing at things. Like this.

  20. My best friend isn’t “really really” short, but she is shorter than the lot of our friends. I know that sometimes it’s hard for her because people make comments about her height regularly. Being picked on or singled out is never a good feeling.
    However, she is one of the greatest people I’ve ever met. Her heart and soul tower over the tallest peak in the world. I would hope she never wishes to be any different than the way she is now and I hope no one who is a little bit different wishes to change. You’re uniquely beautiful. Embrace it.

  21. For what it’s worth, I’m a 5’7″ woman with a 5′ tall fiance. Short don’t mean nothing when it comes to lurve ;)

  22. ok seriously alot of you people are very rude. there is nothing wrong with this post. and nothing wrong with being short. i am not offended by this post and i am 16 and 4’10. this is actually the first one i seen on this site and i laughed at it. so please stop being rude its annoying and thats not what replying on here is for.

  23. I am not short. I’m tall.

    I think the world is built for short people.

    Take cars, for example. If you’re short, all you need to do is put the seat higher and further to the front. Pretty easy to do. If you’re tall, there are some cars you simply can’t fit in because they’re built so fracking tiny.

    Same thing with the kitchen. When I wash dishes I have to bend over at almost a ninety degree angle to be able to reach down into the sink. How much easier is it for short people to simply stand up on a stool and work while comfortably standing.

    What about seats in theatres? There’s hardly ever enough leg room. Worse in lecture theatres at universities, for they’re also so hard that you get very sore from pressing your knees against the next row of seats, for lack of anywhere else to put them.

    What I’m saying: If you’re short and there’s more space than needed, you still fit. If you’re tall and there isn’t enough space, there’s nothing you can do.

  24. Hm, this isn’t awesome at all. Thi sjust reminds me of how much my life sucks becaues I am under the eaverage height. :-/ I came here for a little pick me up, not to be disheartened.

    1. Bah! Humbug! I hope this doesn’t come across as patronizing (I write this as a 5’4″ male), but does who You are, and how You see life, and what You do with your life really depend that heavily on what is “average” or “normal”? Why have a self-definition so tied up in what others seem to be? You are what you choose to be (says Hogarth in The Iron Giant).

      You cannot change others, and there are aspects of yourself you cannot change, no matter how much you might wish to, so why not focus on what you Can change? You, and Only you, can change how you See your circumstances and use Anything to move forward towards who you choose to be, rather than get caught up worrying about what others are like, or what others might think about you.

      Short people can garden, bake bread, sing, dance, laugh, have great conversations, run, admire great art, play piano and pretty much anything they want to! Why focus on what you believe you cannot do?

      But those are just my rambling thoughts. :)

      Hopefully that will help give you the “little pick me up” you wanted?

  25. The great Hulking American Neanderthal, no bigger bones than his have been found in all antiquity, is spawn of over two hundred years of force feeding for the express purpose of exploiting the easy resources of North America. Those resources are gone. He now faces extinction on the soup kitchens and “unemployables” lines in the U.S.A., his huge body no longer sustainable in the modern age. The American Medical Cartel force certain death upon him, his unemployability in the very nation he built with his strong back, his ticket to refusal of humane medical treatment and an automatic death sentence, proclaimed by the actuaries of the cartel in the name of ROI the new American God! Smaller lower calorie folk, quicker in mind and able to survive the oncoming shortages, hyper-inflation, in America will remain survivors of the end of the “Cheap Oil Era”, more adaptable to light veggies and rice diets like the Asian Hordes who impose restraints on the American share of the world’s finite resources with their powerful Yuan, over and ever-weakening dollar! Soon the small folk, vegan in nature will rule and the larger Hulking folk a slow-witted, fast-headed, less mobile sort will all have gone to fight the oil wars to die for drying wells while we smaller, faster, smarter, folk learn at home to live well on much less and join with the Asians in a new world Solar Wind, Wave, Tidal, Geothermal and Thorium bed reactor clean nuclear powers spheres, sustainability our new God, displacing ROI and corporatism, with socialist, communal, mutually beneficial, efforts replacing the dog-eat dog, bigger dog gets the bone paradigm of America today! Jesus the greatest socialist philosopher of all time deems this so! The next great rising in America will be a Christian, social democratic one that does away with the Capitalist, Corporatist destructor and cancer to true democracy! The sick mess that holds back America today and breeds giant marauders, Foot ball “Star” – one winner takes all – paradigm, will give way to the gentle, smaller, giving, sharing, folk and a communal interests and behaviors paradigm as outlined so clearly in the new testaments, and a sustainability desire so strong as to restore America to her former natural bounties. God bless the little folk they are our saviors, and help us to maintain the giants among us till they breed out and saner sizes of humans prevail as in Asia and the rest of the world, to man the modern age.

  26. Hi Neil :)

    I discovered this site via the lovely Sarah Wilson’s blog (www.sarahwilson.com.au) and I love it.
    I have to say, however, that, for me, this particular post tarnishes your wonderful list.

    I am a really, really short person. Let me start with this: I don’t feel disadvantaged at all. Or, at least, any disadvantages of being short are balanced out by the advantages. I barely even think about it, to be honest. (In fact, the other day my partner pointed out that I was short for some reason or another and I said “oh, I forgot I was short”. I really did). Sometimes I’m treated differently for being my height (always being considered “cute”, for example), but I don’t mind because cute is a compliment – although it would be very different if I were a man.

    So it is not that you have made me feel bad for being short. I embraced it long ago. The issue is that this site – which I absolutely love for its positive, uplifting message – should be promoting tolerance and acceptance of people’s differences. Not to actually ENCOURAGE people to categorise certain people as “different”, behave towards them a certain way, purely because of their size, and feel sorry for them; as well as POINT OUT why this particular attribute makes them so deprived and unusual (or, in your words, “crazy”).

    You may say that you were just trying to make people empathise with short people, and understand their plight. Well, I ask you this: imagine you had a huge nose. I’m talking about the biggest nose in every class you have ever been in, your whole life. You have been well aware of this since before you could remember and always hoped that you would grow into it, but you never did. You know fully well that the first thing everybody you come across notices about you is your big nose, but you try your hardest not to think about it, and to compensate with sparkling wit and good deeds. Now, what would you prefer: if people felt sorry for you? Makeup artists took it upon themselves to show you how to slim down your nose? People on the street looked at you pityingly? Your boyfriend gazing at your face and insisting that you had “pretty eyes”? OR would you prefer people to just accept and ignore it? To never mention it, try to over-compensate for it or throw sympathetic glances your way? To the point where you (and them – because we all know that the longer we know someone, the less we notice their quirks that seemed so obvious the first time we met them) completely FORGET about it? Until the next rude person (or inconsiderate article) comes along, of course.

    If you were just an ignorant idiot then I wouldn’t care about this post at all. I have received countless stupid comments about my height. But because I really respect you and your message, it really disheartened me. I know that you did not mean to hurt anybody’s feelings, and that you were most likely just trying to make a joke, not make a responsible public service announcement. However, I would really appreciate it if you would please change this post to something more respectful and kind. (NB: I found the point about short people dying young particularly boorish, although I do acknowledge that you discredited the authors by calling them “eggheads”).

    This list will go down in history, and I think that you should ensure that every single one of your one thousand “good” things is positive and fun, for everybody involved.

  27. I’m glad to see alot of really short women here thats are strong and confident. BUT try being a short man in this country and its a different story. Getting a job and especially dating, I think women realize how much they are obsessed with height,even really short girls tend to like guys 6 feet,wish makes no sense at all.I can understand taller,but not a certain number like 6 ft,that’s not even normal in this country were we are the biggest in the world.Europe and especially Asia dont really look twice at height in mates.

    1. Don’t be discouraged Andrew, there are a large number of women who love short men (me included).

      The few short women I know are actually married to short men.

      I think maybe being a fat man or woman is harder than being short(unless you are short and fat).

  28. Wow, it has been amazing to read all of these comments. In comparison to the really really tall people, there are many more people offended if it is pointed out that they are short.

    Let’s take it back to when we were kids. We look up at the big people (adults) and believe what they tell us. If we eat our vegetables, we’ll grow taller. Same for finishing that glass of milk, or sitting up straight. In reality, there is very little control we do have. Sure, one or two inches difference can be made, but the bulk is genentics. So basically we are raised to feel that we have some control over our growth hormones.

    When we talk to “tall” people, it’s always with wonder and amazement, because the shorter people will never get there.

    When we talk to “short” people it’s with wonder and rememberance, because we HAVE been there. It’s laced with the memories of our own pasts.

    There are a lot of problems that the shorter end of the spectrum don’t have to deal with, like knocking yourself out cold while trying to get into a vehicle because your head hit the frame (again). But this world caters to the “average”, because, well, it’s average. It’s awesome NOT to be “average”. So yeah, really really short would be something to enjoy and hate all at the same time, just like any other difference from the dreaded “average”!

  29. Im a guy, 18 and im only 4’10”. I used to get bullied all the time by the guys at school, but now its ok and I quite like being short.
    Girls come over to me and pinch me cheeks or give me a kiss cos they think im cute. As it happens, just about all of my friends are girls.

    The only problem I have is that my girlfriend is 6ft tall and lives in her high heels. I have to ask her for a kiss as I cant reach.

  30. All you girls who are around 5`o” and can`t reach kitchen cabinets must have kitchens designed for giants. Imagine being so short that door handles are at chin height, and you struggle to reach some light switches. I am an average height male and I`m always reading of celebrities or sportsmen of my height described as short or little.

  31. I think it’s funny that the reactions to this post are so much more negative and emotional than the reactions to the tall post – even though the content of the posts are almost exactly the same.

    I guess all you short people are just a bit too sensitive? ;)

  32. Well being just 5′ and blond, I take advantage of it whenever possible. Like, when I had my kayak and had a special holder on my car roof so I could always get it off by myself, but I never had to….men always ran to help. Like, when I have big luggage and never have to carry it, I just have to walk alongside the wonderful helpful man and carry my purse. Like, when I need help with anything, I just stand there and look blond and short and people help. (Of course I don’t like it so much when I want them to see I’m not as stupid as I look).

    And now that I’m short, blond and 59 years old, and look like a grandmother, I get even more help….

    Like the line in Streetcar Named Desire, “I have always relied on the kindness of strangers.”

  33. I love being short and going to concerts! It makes getting to the front so much easier. All I have to do is tap on the abnormally tall person in front of me in the small of their back and ask in a small voice, “Sorry, all I see is your back. Can I get in front of you?”

    Works like a charm every time.

  34. I have the ultimate scenario for all tall people who THINK they r soo great. Newzzflash, no!!!

    If you were having myocardiac infarction (that means heart attack for small brained, tall people out there), and you went into a hospital, and the only doctor to save your life was a short one, you’d love him after saving your life. Now wouldn’t you?! I think so!! People need to remember something: wherever u r, we are on borrowed time from God, and God could take our lives at any moment. Shit, I think the epitome of that is 9/11. So from now on, wherever u r, if you make fun of someone, then you’re having a heart attack, that person might not save u!!! Just be nice, and you may be saved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. Haha Story of my life. I constantly have to ask friends to get something for me because I can’t reach. I swear if another one of them points at those “I’m not short I’m fun size” shirts I’ll scream. I’m only an inch or two shorter, and yet it makes all the difference. It makes all the difference.

Comments are closed.