|Image of Nicole Richie from huffingtonpost.com|
In my last post, reader Julia asked in the comments section:
I'm 15 and 4'11 and really self-conscious about my height. Do you have any 'appreciation' tips and does this affect my chances of being chic?
Julia, your question makes me really sad that you believe height has anything to do with being chic. Parts of our physical makeup that we cannot change such as height, hair type/eye shape/skin colour, overall basic body type and even foot size, we may as well work with and play up the good things about them. The alternative is unhappiness with aspects of ourselves that we have no control over.
In addition, I believe it’s how your being is that determines how chic and happy you are, rather than what your physical dimensions may be.
I’m 5’7 so I can’t give you my own life experience of being petite, however I do recall a girl in high school who was in my group of friends for a year or two. At the age we were – around 15, we were probably mostly fully grown height-wise and this girl was petite – not very tall, and slimmish but curvy (she had a bust, butt, thighs etc).
What I remember about her is that I wanted what she had. She was always laughing and having fun and had oodles of friends who loved being with her despite having moved to our school from another area (many of us had gone through school together so knew each other well). Her hair was shiny and always looked nice and her clothing style was great too. She had the biggest, warmest smile and a few cute freckles also.
What I noticed she didn’t do was get into cliques, gossip or complain. She was passionate about her interests and generally looked like she loved life. She was nice to everyone without needing to be their best friend. She worked in a fish and chip shop after school and used to laugh about smelling like frying oil when she came home. Even having a non-glamorous job did not detract from her attractiveness!
This was all because she wasn’t focusing on her perceived flaws but she was making the most of herself and her life. She was having fun, and if she was bothered about her height, none of us knew anything about it. If someone had teased her I’m sure she would have laughed it off.
Consider if she had a hang-up about her height, if she wished she was taller and thought she might be more popular if she was the same height as her friends. Maybe she’d been called nicknames and this had stuck with her. I don’t think she would have been as confident and that in turn would have led to her being more in her shell, not having as much fun etc.
I can think of a few other examples of friends who are not tall and they hate it. Many times I have heard from them ‘I wish I’d gotten my (tall) mothers height instead of my (short) father’s height’, ‘I hate having to buy kids shoes sometimes’, ‘I always wear high heels so people don’t realise how short I am’.
It can’t be very nice to have that endless loop repeating in your mind. Maybe you have been teased and you can still feel the sting. Imagine though, if you took everything ever said to you about your height (or anything else) as a compliment.
If I think about applying this advice to myself it might go like:
‘Your legs are... very straight’ (my mother actually told me this when I asked her if my legs were nice when I was younger; I still tease her about it) – Thank you! I love my straight legs!
‘You talk too softly’. Thank you!
‘You don’t look so fat now you’ve lost some weight’ (from my first husband). Thank you!
‘You used to be blonde!’ (an elderly Aunt that I hadn’t seen for years) – Thank you!
‘You’re such a control freak’ (all my family members to me) – Thank you, I appreciate it!
Sometimes I even do say that exact thing to a ‘funny’/back-handed/passive aggressive compliment – Thanks. I’ll take that as a compliment!
Remember, snide or smart remarks can only stick and affect you if you let them. Be like Teflon and let stuff just slide right off.
- Research chic ladies you admire and find the petite ones to serve as your chic role models. They might be celebrities, or people you know in real life and admire the way they carry themselves.
- Come up with twenty reasons why it’s easy and fun to be chic
and petite, and twenty reasons why it’s better to be petite than taller. Open up your lovely journal and create some
inspiration for yourself. Take every negative reason that you tell yourself and write down the opposite. Ask yourself if there's any way that the opposite reason coud apply to you.
Examples from above could be:
Instead of: I hate having to buy kids shoes sometimes and I always wear high heels so people don’t realise how short I am,
You could say:
I love being able to buy the kid size shoes because it saves me a lot of money, and I love that I can wear high heels and not tower over my boyfriend.
- Instead of looking at your height as a burden, consider it a blessing and say to the Universe ‘thank you for my petite height’. You were given your height for a reason and the more positive reasons you look for, the more you'll find.
I hope this was helpful Julia and thanks for a great question.
Perhaps any other petite ladies could chime in with all the reasons why you love your height and how chic it makes you feel?