Some Small Sense

Shopping experiences and store reviews by a very petite woman. Indeed, it sucks. 4'10", 87 pounds, and full grown - is it a surprise I have trouble finding clothes?

December 22, 2006

It's a Compliment - Really

"You look twelve," said an older woman. At the time, I was currently spacing out, clutching my oranges, waiting to pay. I whipped around to see who was speaking to me. Lo and behold, I was not the 'lucky' recipient of such a comment. Instead, it was a young mother waiting in line behind the older speaker.

Mommy didn't actually say anything to the comment, and the older woman must have realized that she overstepped somewhere. "It's a compliment," she backpedaled. She helpfully offered it up as an explanation - since Mommy was obviously too dense to 'get it'. I mean, doesn't every self-respecting mom want to look pre-legal? No comment from Mommy still. Older lady made a beeline to the exit.

I glanced over and noticed the kid. Now, I'm not exactly as accurate as say, most people, in guessing children's ages. The height throws me off (middle and even elementary school children are sometimes taller than me). But he had to be at least 5, but younger than 10. The kid was way closer to 12 than his mommy. I couldn't help but wonder, how exactly was she supposed to take that as a compliment? That she looks like a pre-teen mother? Or a little girl? No offense, but except for her height, there's no way this woman was less than 25, even sans kid as proof.

Awkwardly, I offered my sympathy by telling her, "I get that all the time" as she left. Not exactly comforting, but hey, what can you possibly say?

Word to the wise. It's never complimentary to tell a woman that she looks like she's 12 year old. Definitely don't try that at the bar guys.

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Blogger jj said...

Ouch. Yeah, I definately would have been upset by that! Especially if the commenter was defensively offering up "It's a compliment". Ugh!

January 03, 2007 12:31 PM  
Blogger charredhart said...

When I was 25, my mother and I were in the bridal shop where I was having my dress fitted and there was a woman there, another customer that is, who turns to my mom and asks her if I am going to be in a play because I couldn't possibly be any older than twelve. Mind you, I can hear all of this and I am inwardly cringing at what possible response my mom will hurl at this apparantly blind woman. So, in a fit of uncharacteristic self-control, my mom tells the woman that I am, in fact, her 25 year old daughter and will be getting married this year. So, that was over seven years ago. I think that when people offer comments like that, they are doing it in a very thoughtless and left-handed manner without care as to how we feel about it. I could go on but I think many of us are familiar with how we are treated and how sometimes it really is fairly tactless.

February 03, 2007 1:28 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

I particularly like that the woman directed the comment towards your mother. Even if you were twelve, I doubt you would have appreciated being ignored.

And I do hope you meant 'back-handed'! We left-handed folk get a bad rep too....

February 03, 2007 10:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, goodness. (Precursory note: I am an early-20s, short and skinny woman - 5'0", 82 lbs at last weigh-in.)
A similar event happened to me when I was about 19 or 20 years old. During a job interview. (Luckily, I was not the interviewee, but was being introduced as the HR representative for my company.) The lady in question was shocked to learn that I was not, in fact, 13 years old, but a working member of society with a college degree under my belt.
I love how a lot of people like to say "you'll be grateful for your young looks when you're older," when all I want is to not wonder if I attract pedophiles. And also, want to look like a professional and not a teenager.

June 08, 2007 2:13 AM  
Anonymous suzy said...

I am 28 years old and always get comments about looking young. 12 to 16 years old is the range I get. Now I've decided to not tell people my real age. I tell them it is none of their business. Let them think what they want. I come out with something, I was just born yesterday.
Any way, I really hate looking young. I don't want to appreciate it when I look older.....I want to appreciate how I look now.

August 18, 2007 6:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People usually say that the shorter people do look alot younger than taller people.Obviously it is only a good thing when you get older.I mean i am now in my 40's and i dont mind people thinking i look younger.I dont get the 12 yr old bit now.It is nice now but when i was younger i was alot shorter than some of my friends.When we went to the bar after work i was the one always questioned about my age no one else.I was blamed if we couldnt get into a bar if the bouncer didnt believe me.Now i dont get it so that is a good thing.My main problem was haveing my height and weight checked at school and having to stand in a row from shortest to tallest.To make matter worse they also did one where it was the oldest to shortest and my best friend was 2 weeks older than me and she was 1st and i was 2nd then so on.I was still the shortest one and being the 2nd oldest.All through school was like that.

October 15, 2007 7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When i was younger i remember my mum always getting me to stand next to young kids and she would then ask their mum how old they were.(9/10 times they were always younger.My mum was always measuring me and my sister's height.I was older than her by 4 years.She just so happen to be taller than me when we got older.To this day she reached 5'8 and i reached 4'11.No one believed that i was the older sister they always laughed.I know that my height actually came from my grandad has he was shorter than my nan.The poor man was only 4'11 like me and my nan was 5'6.He used to joke that he always wanted a tall woman to look after him.Especially when she comes in handy and has to reach things for him.He used to tell me how growing up was really bad for him has he came from a really short family.Both his parents were 5'0 and 4'11.Then there was his brothers 6 of them and they all were under 5'0.He also had 4 sisters who were between 5'2 and 5'6.He used to say that is why he wanted a taller woman has he grew up with his taller sisters.People also laughed at them due to the sisters being taller .Apparently the brother's all came first followed by the sisters which was strange like that.He told me many stories about going to war and fighting in europe.The uniform he and his brother had to wear was really long and they had to chop about 6ins off it.I would have loved to have been growing up i their family has me being the shortest was very hard to take.

October 15, 2007 8:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read your article, yeah I get that all the time. I work with primary school children and they think that I look like a kid. I politely tell them a story of how I am a twin and that the world would be a boring place if everyone were the same.

Anways, just rememeber that 'good things always comes in small packages'. Be grateful for who you are and what you are-you have eyes, you do have everything but height, look at someone worst off than you....! Always be grateful to god for He does not look on the outside but rather the inside. He tests those He loves and that is a fact. Trust me. You are beautiful to Allah. So be happy and smile.

Another thing, no one's life is perfect and everyone has problems even celebs! I bet tall celebs wish they were petite!

Famous petite celebs: Vanessa Anne Hudgens, Kylie Minogue, Coleman-the dude from Cosby Show, Miley Cyrus, Raven-Symone to name but a few.

November 18, 2008 6:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm 24 and married. I look young for my age and get comments about it pretty much consantly. I'm extremely self conscious about it and it really affects my confidence which makes the whole thing even worse! It's people's lack of tact...I agree being told you look 12 cannot be a compliment no matter how hard to try to pass it off as one. For me, anytime someone says something like that it just makes me feel really uncomfortable and silly. I always want to say something rude back to them, but I always end up saying 'yeah I know'...argh!

November 30, 2009 1:56 PM  

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