Meg says Monday: Small Girl Problems

Ten problems only short girls can relate to.

Meg Caswell
April 7, 2017
At 4 foot 11 (and a half), I’m officially 1.5 inches away from legally classifying as a midget. I've heard all the small jokes in the book, I’ve embraced the humiliation of walking to the end of the height line at school, and I’ve suffered through numerous dressing-room nightmares.
I’m dedicating this week’s article to anyone who has experienced the trials and tribulations of being vertically challenged. I’ve compiled a list of ten ‘short girl problems’ that us minority shorties (or as I prefer to call it, compact people) face on a daily basis.
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1. Always the front-runner in photos

As the token shortie, you’re always forced to stand at the front in group photos. Whilst displaying only your ‘best angle’ isn’t an option here, the fact that your 6 foot bestie is looming over you from behind does nothing to conceal your height deficiency. On the other hand, at least you have an excuse to grab the best seat at concerts.

2. The awkward hug

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For us shorties, a hug often equates to an unpleasant whiff of armpit sweat or a face full of boobs. Whilst my taller friends have attempted a variety of weird and wonderful hugging techniques to solve this situation (including the ‘awkward squat’ and the ‘lean and bend), I’ve come to the conclusion that there is no effective method when it comes to the small/tall embrace.

3. A small step for man, a giant leap for Meg 

 At 4 foot 11, I don’t exactly possess the largest leg span. This is where a shopping trip with a fast-paced friend can quickly turn into a sprint session. Making up speed with double the steps can be hard work for us petites, but at least we complete our daily cardio routine!

4. The dressing room nightmare

 Anyone below 5 foot will have faced the dreaded fitting room challenge. Whilst many shops don’t even cater for small people, most petite ranges aren’t really designed for people below 5 foot anyway. Unfortunately, for most petite women, the child’s section is also out of bounds (unless you fancy getting an age 12 t-shirt stuck around your boobs).

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5. The extra alterations 

Short people can’t just take the original price tag into consideration. When purchasing any long-legged item of clothing, we have to consider the additional price of required alterations. My advice to other petites would be to take up sewing (or find a family member who already has); if not, be prepared for a hefty clothing bill!

6. The manhandler

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 As a small girl, this is my biggest pet-hate. We may be bitesize, but this does not give you the right to manhandle us like small puppies! So tall people…please don’t pick us up against our will. Just remember… small people have feelings too! Like anyone else, we appreciate our personal space!

7. The human arm rest

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 Yes, we may be perfect resting height, but please refrain from using us as arm rests or drink stands. We are not inanimate pieces of furniture, and tables were invented for a reason! If we wanted to become balancing acts, we would have joined the circus.

8. Always the ‘cute’ girl

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I'm not “cute"…I’m a twenty-two year old adult with a feisty personality and minor anger issues. Whilst a compliment never goes amiss, consider using other adjectives once in a while to describe your petite companions.  After all, every woman loves being called beautiful!

9. The top-shelf workout

For most people, browsing supermarket and kitchen shelves forms part of a standard daily routine. For small girls, however, preparing a glass of water or reaching for a top-shelf item in Coles can soon become a full-body workout. I’ve climbed my way onto many a kitchen worktop in my time. Shorties—bear your height in mind when it comes to organising your new kitchen….it will save you a lot of time and effort in the long run!

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10. The car seat

As a learner driver, I endured the humiliation of sitting on a cushion (a.k.a. makeshift booster seat) to see over the bonnet of my teacher’s Vauxhall (Holden to Australians). Whilst I’ve since find myself a more compact car to better suit my proportions, I still face the daily task of re-adjusting my car seat (the burden of car sharing with my partner). Unfortunately ladies and gents, we have to put safety first... besides, reaching the pedals is kind of an important when driving!

Despite my ten-step rave, being small isn’t all that bad. Petite life can have its perks…. at least we never have to worry about leg room on public transport, and we save a shit-load of money shopping in the junior shoe section! Failing all else, just remember….

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Meg Caswell

Hi everyone, my name’s Meg! Having fallen in love with Perth over the past few years, I finally decided to relocate here from the UK in early 2016. Although I love Perth for its obvious beauty and vibrancy, it’s the city’s unique and hidden treasures that really attracted me to the West Australian way of life. I now live here as a full-time flat white lover and brunch enthusiast, dedicated to discovering Perth’s hidden business heroes.