Being Short Doesn't Always Mean Coming Up Short in Life
by Chelsea Arthur
May 2011

I was born into a short family; in fact someone being tall in the family was somewhat of a rarity on both sides. I blame it on some of our Native American heritage. My mom was always a petite woman and I ended up following in her footsteps, both in my childhood and my adulthood. I am an intelligent woman; I have succeeded in many of my endeavors. I am married to a wonderful man who is much taller than my 4 feet 7.5 inches and we have a beautiful daughter who is seventeen months old. She is very happy and healthy but considered "short in stature" compared to some of height "statistics" for children her age. My friends are jealous of how quickly I got my figure back after having her. I've always been petite in height and in weight as well, something that my doctor gave me a hard time during my first visit when we found out I was expecting. It was almost as though he was accusing me of being too thin and this would put my child in jeopardy. She was born full term, was 6 lbs. 10 oz. and had no health problems what so ever. Ultimately I think he was full of it and over opinionated.

I have been blessed with several great things in my life but have also had hardships as well, some of them in regards to my height. One example occurred recently when my husband and I decided to have a date night together. We purchased our tickets at the ticket window only to find out later that I had been charged as a child by the clerk. A young girl who though taller than me; was probably fresh out of high school. Being twenty-four years old I felt that her assumption was a slap in the face. Sadly, I never was able to defend my honor because we did not realize she had charged me as a child until after the fact. After I had figured it out, I cried for hours and went into a depression for days. It sounds dramatic but I never liked my "womanhood" being questioned and I hate it when people sum you up based on height alone. I have a woman's body and a woman's demeanor but I am short. Unfortunately on top of that I inherited a youthful face from my mother. This face I think could make me pass as sixteen or seventeen but never as an actual little child. Some people would find these things as a blessing, aging gracefully, getting cheaper admission into movies and such, but to me it feels like a curse. All I want is to be treated like an adult because I am an adult. Often times people and their haughty attitudes hasn't allowed that to happen.

Once when pregnant with my daughter, I even had a stranger come up to me and chastise me for being pregnant. She stated that I was "too young". I explained to her my age, but she didn't believe me and hardly let me get a word in edge wise. Once again I was hurt and questioned why God chose to put me in such a tiny package.

Time has passed since both of those incidents happened. I think back to them both and look at my husband and child and see the blessing and can kind of laugh at people's arrogance. What is truly so wrong with being short? We can be just as sexy, just as smart, beautiful and successful. In fact, I am working on a book right now about my journey to the Catholic faith. I converted from a Protestant faith six years ago and decided to explain my stance and reasoning behind this decision. I know this book is going to be successful. I know this book is going to prove something for short people everywhere. I know that I am just as capable as the tall woman out there, maybe even more capable.

So, people are arrogant. They take one characteristic about you and turn it completely chaotic. To all the jerks out there, believe it or not, yes you can be short and still be an adult. Look at the whole package before making a judgment. To the girl who charged me as a child at the movie theatre, I know now how arrogant she really must be, especially since one day when wearing very tall high heels that same girl charged me as an adult and then proceeded to try to get a good view of my feet as I walked in. This was BEFORE she charged me as a child the next time around. I mean really, if you base who someone is on their height alone and live in such a small box, we the short people aren't truly the ones with a problem - YOU are. As for the woman who accused me of being a pregnant teen. One, it's none of your business and two, oh, I'm sorry, I didn't realize you knew me so much better than myself and therefore can tell me who I am better than I can.

I'd rather be short than arrogant. When it comes down to it, what they think of me, will not change who I truly am. They cannot define me. The next person who gives me a hard time will get some harsh words from me because though I am learning to take the hurt from the situation and see the humor in it I am also seeing the stupidity and small mindedness of others. I realize now, I am not a freak of nature. God made me this way, and he sees it as beautiful. I have achieved much and will continue to achieve much. Being short can be downright sexy, beautiful, and undeniably fun it you let it.

Chelsea Arthur, Freelance writer, Wife and Mother
From: Spartanburg, SC