Op-Ed: The weather down here


Photo credit: Maia Alvarez

Sophomore Sophia Calne wrote an opinion piece for her 10th grade English class about how height should be included in the body positivity movement, and people should be more sensitive to differences in height. (Graphic Illustration by Maia Alvarez)

By Sophia Calne, Guest Writer

Stop asking me how the weather is down here. I know it seems funny to joke about height, but how would you feel if I commented on your weight? Not so great, huh? Calling me cute, petite and sweetie are all things that seem playful and harmless but are far from uplifting and supportive. 

For as long as I can remember, I have wished to be just a little taller. I would love to reach the food on the top shelf of the grocery store, reach the highest cabinets at home and get the same treatment as everyone else. 

You say people come in all different shapes and sizes until it comes to height. The average height of a woman in the United States is 5-foot-4. People who don’t fit this standard are targeted with negative and hurtful comments in one way or another, yet there is no movement to advocate for them.

Social media has supported an agenda including body positivity and self-love and even has impacted the culture around it. Influencers get canceled for making fun of someone’s weight, but never for their height. 

There is no doubt that height plays a vital role in daily life. The best athletes stand the tallest, and the longer a model’s legs are, the prettier she is, and her chance at success is better. I have searched for someone in the media to look up to who looks just a little bit like me. But all I could ever find were either 5-foot-11 supermodels who felt they had struggled immensely because of their height, or 5-foot-2 actresses talking about how hard their lives are being so short. Where do I fit in here?

The body positivity and inclusivity movement is so incredibly important. People should feel comfortable showing their bodies no matter their size. But this topic should not be limited to weight. It is most apparent through the media constantly commenting on the height of various public figures.

I have never felt truly confident in myself. Something must be wrong with my size because the movement never displays people like me. 

My whole life, I have felt trapped in my height, since there’s no magical diet to make me grow. In ABC News’ “Short People Debunk New Study on Height,” one participant commented, “Fat people can diet and exercise, skinny people can eat and lift weights, ugly people can have plastic surgery. Being short is more akin to being disabled.”

While weight and other features are essential to normalize, height and other non-changeable features should also be included. Diet and fitness can alter weight, but there is no magical Keto plan to make me grow a few inches.