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Being Short

By: Anna Luo

First impressions are often based on physical appearance. However, this doesn’t make people labeling me as “that short kid” any less annoying. Sure, I’ve always stood in the front row for class photos and I only recently hit the 5-foot mark (which I’d like to point out, is only one and three-fourths of an inch below the national average for girls my age). However, that doesn’t make me feel any better when it seems as though my most defining trait is based on my height. Nonetheless, there are undeniable perks of being shorter than the average person. In fact, as much as I like to complain about being short, the advantages arguably outweigh the cons.

To begin, I have more maneuverability in tight spaces, literally. Being short gives me more mobility on long car rides, or on a plane. I can easily fall asleep curled up in the backseat on road trips, and the limited legroom on budget flights isn’t as bothersome for me as it is for taller people.

However, it’s not only in cramped places that my height becomes an advantage, it’s also satisfying on cold days where I want nothing more than to curl up into a ball with a warm blanket and a book, because I can do just that! Or that one time I suddenly decided to build a blanket fort with my brother over quarantine, as I can still find it comfortable and enjoyable. Not only does my height significantly benefit my physical flexibility, but it also allows me to feel younger.

Not only do I feel younger, but I also look more youthful to others, which can come in handy in certain situations. In fact, I vividly remember an instance in which I was confronted about my age at a summer acting camp. As everyone had been divided into their respective age groups with different colored shirts, I was shocked when an older camper came up to me and asked if I was old enough to be there. Frustrated that he thought I was too short to be a 5th grader, despite my obnoxiously bright yellow shirt with the words “5th grade,” I had been frustrated and shot back, “Are you blind?” before running off. Later, I remember feeling especially satisfied during our final performance, playing one of the leading characters. The way some people unconsciously label short people as an underdog is certainly irritating. However, it can also serve as motivation, pushing me towards my goals faster.

Though my height is certainly not something I’m proud of, it has proved to be advantageous in many ways. Lately, I find myself being more grateful for being short and have learned to embrace it. After all, one’s stature isn’t always dependent on height. Despite being short, my height has elevated me to stand in the spotlight on more than one occasion.

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