Small Girl Problems: 20 Things You Only Know If You’re Under 5ft Tall

Vertically challenged, 'petite', compact, whatever you call it, being short has its moments, says Marie Claire's Acting Features Director Tracy Ramsden.


Tracy Ramsden
has 99 small girl problems…. but the vertigo ain’t one.

1. At some point during any given commute on a packed train or bus, somebody will inevitably use the top of your head as a resting place for their newspaper/ book/ coffee cup/ even their elbow. At moments like this, you are nothing more than a table.

2. If your boyfriend is over 6ft tall, your single female friends will scorn at you for ‘being greedy’ and you’ll feel guilty for not dating somebody from your own height bracket.

3. It’s your job to retrieve things from small, cramped spaces.

4. Occasionally, when visiting zoos and museums at peak times, you may be herded along by a militant school teacher, assuming you are one of her pupils on a school trip.

5. Gigs can be treacherous and you spend most of your time craning your neck to watch a band on the designated screens. Until that tall, strong stranger offers to put you on his shoulders and, well, life isn’t all bad. Cue: best view in the house.

6. Add at least £10 on to every purchase of a new pair of trousers or jeans, to allow for the obligatory leg alteration costs. And don’t expect to wear your new trousers for another week, they will spend this time at the tailor’s.

7. Maxi dresses are not an option. Unless you are looking for somewhere new to live.

8. Much like maternity wear and the ‘tall’ line, expect ‘petite’ ranges on the high street to be the basic dregs of the rest of the store. Grey marl t-shirts, striped jerseys and black bootcut trousers. Because why would a short girl want to wear anything more stylish than that, hmm?

9. You will learn to walk expertly in heels from the age of five, and you will not take them off until you hit 80.

10. Whether you like it or not, get used to being called cute.

11. ‘Have you shrunk?’ will become the annual greeting you receive from elderly relatives. And it doesn’t get any less annoying or any more hilarious with time.

12. Strange men in bars will strike up conversation based entirely on your height, exclaiming that they would love to ‘pick you up and put you in their pocket’ when all you really want is a spot at the bar.

13. Talking of which, prepare to always be obscured by beer taps when queuing at the bar, and for the guy behind you to get served first… over your very head. Beer drips possible.

14. Those hand rails on trains, tubes and buses? No chance. Stick to the edges like a wall flower, even when repeatedly asked to move down the carriage. On the plus side, you develop strong core muscles from relying on gravity to keep you upright.

15. You will occasionally be patted on the head, even over the age of 30. Prepare your snarky responses early.

16. Trainers and ski gear will be a third of the price because you can shop the junior range. Just don’t expect chic choices. For the most part, you will look like a teenage boy.

17. You still get to enjoy that childlike excitement when sitting in a theatre/ cinema/ plane seat because your feet will dangle unanchored and your legs will swing with abandonment.

18. You’re always ushered to the front in group photographs.

19. You will never perch gracefully on a bar stool like they do in the movies. You can’t even physically climb up onto said bar stool without assistance.

20. You regularly ask yourself, ‘What would Kylie do?’

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