The world is not designed for short people

Lauren Young, Staff Writer

As someone who only stands at 4’11,” I often feel the struggles of being a short person in an average-sized world.

Recently, people don’t even believe it when I say I’m 4’11” because I think it seems so short because it has a four in it, but if I said I was five feet tall, it wouldn’t seem so dramatic. I have my fair share of friends who are over six feet tall, and these individuals feel like giants to me.

Obviously, by this point in my life I have adapted to my height, especially since I’ve been this tall since the sixth grade. I used to tower above everyone but then I dropped off and everyone else kept growing.

As I mentioned, I’m adapting to a world not designed for short people. I climb on shelves at the grocery store to reach that box of cereal that’s pushed all the way to the back of the top shelf, I sit on a pillow when I drive and I climb on a chair to make sure I’ve gotten all of my clothes out of the top dryer in my dorm.

The thing I find perhaps the most frustrating is having to buy clothes. The average height for a 19-year-old American woman is 5’4”. So, as someone who is way below this average, finding pants that are a normal length is almost impossible. I am not one who likes cold weather anyway for a variety of reasons, but this just adds to that list.

I often buy petite pants, which can sometimes be hard to find in appealing styles. Petite pants are great and all, but they are still too long!

Even after buying pants that are supposed to be shorter, I still need to either take the time to shorten them myself or pay someone to do it, which is the option I opt for. So, in the long run I end up paying more money and I’m getting less pants.

This is one of the reasons why I live in leggings all winter long, you don’t notice if those are too long!

Another thing that I find annoying is that people so often like to point out how short I am, as if I don’t already know. It never occurred to me that I can’t reach certain things and the like.

It doesn’t happen so much anymore but when I was in high school it seemed like a daily occurrence that someone would make a comment about my height.

I’ve accepted it now but at the time it was something that I was very insecure about. Being used as a human armrest does get old sometimes. Some of my friends still do it now, but I actually find it a little endearing now.

What can I say except that I come from a family of short females? It happens, it’s called genetics. There’s a lot of occasions where I wish I was just an inch or two taller, but at least I don’t have to worry about being taller than my future husband!

Lauren is a sophomore Graphic Design major. She is a member of the Program Board and Catholic Campus Ministry, and is a staff writer for The Voice.