As a twenty year old student who has not grown an inch since her thirteenth birthday, I have heard all the small jokes in the book. I measure in at just 4 foot 11 and boy do I know about it! Don’t get me wrong, being vertically challenged can certainly have its perks, but having a small stature can also lead to a regular abundance of problems and struggles.
Fitting room nightmares are a regular occurrence amongst us petite ladies. Whilst we may fit into clothes width-wise, finding appropriate clothing to suit our height is another issue altogether. At 4 foot 11, even a petite fit can pose problems. It is not only the original price tag that we petites have to take into consideration during retail therapy, but the additional price of having said item taken up after purchase. Whilst many people would advise a trip to the children’s section as an alternative, this overlooks the fact that a lot of us petite women still have curves. I have tried many a time to squeeze myself into a pair of children’s jeans, to no avail. On the other hand, the children’s shoe section is always a godsend. As an all-over petite woman, my size three feet have saved me from expensive spends on many an occasion!
On top of clothing issues, being petite also comes with regular and repetitive commentary. Surprisingly, this most commonly comes from complete strangers. As a petite twenty year old, I can’t count the amount of times I have been told that I look too young to have a job or to be out on the town. The most common comment to date is the plain and simple assertion ‘you’re really small’. Without sounding mean, this isn’t news to us petites!
Over the years I have learnt to take most of this commentary on the chin, but there is always someone who has to take a playful comment a little too far. Whilst a little banter is always welcomed, I draw the line at being picked up and manhandled just because I am regarded as small and cute. Like anyone, small people still enjoy their own personal space! What’s more, we don’t want to be labelled ‘cute’ for all our lives (the words ‘sexy’ or ‘attractive’ never go amiss with anyone, petite girls included!).
On the bright side, being small can often make life quite easy. The days may be gone when I could get away with paying a child’s fee for the cinema, but I will forever have leg room on airplanes and buses! Although fitting rooms and shopping may be a nightmare, I wouldn’t swap my petiteness for anything. It’s what makes me unique and it’s good to be different!