By Liz Everly
Seems that size has gotten to be a bit of an issue in the media again these days. For years, big women were shamed; now skinny women are shamed. The media skews everything. I mean, we know that, right? Let’s resolve right here and now not to give a flying fig about what the media says we should look like. Tall, thin, short, or plump.
Real women come in all shapes and sizes and that’s all a part of our charm. Not to suggest there are not real issues out there surrounding the health of women who are obese or very thin, or women who are discriminated against for being on either end of the scale. I’d like to add a little to the mix by telling you that I’m a petite woman, standing at a very proud 4′ 11″, and when it comes to putting up with shit from people because of size, I’ve had my share of it.
Sometimes it’s very subtle. Often it’s from other women who try to mother me because I am small. Or from those who make personal remarks about my size, sort of “good-natured” jabs. You know what? It’s not cool. I try to maintain a sense of humor about myself—it’s not that. Really. But what it is, is this: Nobody really has any right to remark about my size. Or your size. Or anybody’s size. It’s just plain rude, boring, and lazy. If you can’t say something interesting about me or yourself, then just be quiet.
Other times it’s not very subtle. I once had a boy in high school tell me I’d be hot if I was taller. Can you imagine? (As if high school wasn’t bad enough, right?) I once had a newspaper editor tell me he’d never hire me because I looked too young because of being short. Ah well. I’ve gotten over that years ago and now that I’m over 50 I know it was his loss—and stupidity to not have hired me. Really, I’ve let that all go years ago. But, knowing what an interesting bunch of readers we have on Lady Smut, I thought I’d add this size issue into the body-image mix to consider.
And I COULD go on a bit about this issue because it runs deep in me and I’ve had to work very hard at accepting and loving my body—adding to the body image problems were my years in competitive gymnastics and pre-professional ballet. (A whole other blog post, I assure you.) But I won’t go on too much more except to say that both of my daughters are short—my oldest one in particular and at the age of 16, she has already endured some tasteless remarks and comments. One of them was at an audition. (Seriously.) Another person told her she’d be more “sexy” if she wasn’t short. (Okay–I don’t want to think of my daughter as sexy, at all, but the remark pissed me off.) But our daughters are exactly why we need to keep the conversation going about body image and who gets to tell us how to feel about ourselves. Not the media. Not some small-town choreographer who has never even been out of the state of Virginia. Actually it’s NOBODY. Remember: It’s rude, boring, and lazy. Let’s start telling people that. (My daughter has my permission to say “f–k you” to the next person who tries to make her feel small about her size. You do, too, okay? )
I’ve decided to celebrate not just myself but the other short women out there that are already celebrated for their beauty, talent, and sexiness—some that you may not have known were small. Like my daughters. Like my mother. Like all of my grandmothers. Like me.