23 Full-Sized Huffs at HuffPost …by a “very short woman”

HuffPost http://huff.to/1wAmIPn lists 23 Full-Sized Struggles Every Short Woman Wants You To Know About.

Apparently I’m not “full sized” but “short” nay, “very short”! By definition I’m deficient, lacking in some way. At under 5 feet 4 inches I should “only dream of being that tall” – actually I don’t. I like being my height (4′ 11 3/4″ ) – any bigger would feel too big. I can’t say why, it just would. I don’t mind talking about it – perhaps that’s weird like talking about having genital warts or halitosis. But there it is. Please do feel to click on the ‘back’ button if you find my candour alarming. Failing that, brace yourself and I’ll share my 23 huffs on that HuffPost !

1. Annoyingly patronizing articles about how being short involves “daily stressors” like “hung bathroom mirrors are your worst nightmare” – for the love of God I know how to hang a mirror at a sensible height. My worst nightmare? Try Satan laughing hysterically whilst dangling me over an erupting volcano as I melt, literally. Poorly positioned mirrors in there? Nope.
2. If someone greets me with “How tall are you?” I answer “Hello, how are you?” – with a broad smile. A short, sweet and gentle reminder to the oik of the rules of our social game, otherwise known as manners.
3. Shocked looks IF I reveal my height are met with a yes-I-know-isn’t-it-amazing! look in response. Do this, seriously you will find yourself laughing out loud. A lot.
4. The top shelves in the kitchen are “untouched territory” – they are either someone else’s to sort or a place store less frequently used items like “food that makes you grow tall”and high heels.
5. People asking how small your feet are. Well, gosh its not really up there is the stress stakes this one is it? Question: “What size are you?” Answer: “4”. Phew, over. Now to stitch up the heart muscle and finish the op, or pull out the warrant and arrest the master criminal or other such real stressors of life.
6. Bartenders with time to “stare you down and scrutinize your ID for a solid five minutes”? Well, bartenders with that much time are most likely in empty i.e. crap bars – just move on to a busy i.e. better bar (ideally with poor lighting).
7. If you are lucky enough to look like you are still in high school, years after graduating from college – congratulations! If you’re that desperate to look old drink, do drugs, sun bathe ballistically and lose sleep worrying about all those poorly positioned mirrors and you will surely acquire a haggard look – but otherwise learn the virtue of patience. Wrinkles will come soon enough, along with unruly grey hairs, general grumpiness and hopefully gumption.
8. People dismissing my insecurities with “but you’re so tiny”? No, because I simply don’t discuss anything that truly bothers me outside of REAL friends who are not stupid enough to say crass crap like “But you’re so tiny!” Pick your friends wisely and don’t blab to just anyone.
9. Pants are too long. Well, your friend’s are probably too short or too tight or too wide. Great Pants – the universal challenge of womankind I know but hey gosh there is morphine for when it really gets bad.
10. Do I shop in the kids’ section? How insulting to even ask. Emotionally scarring prevents me from answering at all.
11. Shops don’t carry stuff in petite. Isn’t this the pants crisis point again? Ditto morphine and of course emotional scarring is implied.
12. People decide to pick you up without your permission. I have never been picked up without permission ( except when a baby) . If people are picking you up against your will, it’s not a height thing it’s a bullying/harassment thing! Poke em in the eye, learn self defence and Judo-whack em if needs be but Command the respect of your peers. Train them so just one look will say : “Please don’t pick me up” or “pick me up and die” or “pick me up and you’ll be scraping your balls up off the carpet” – whichever suits your proclivities.
13. If people pat you on the head take it as a FREE sign from God that they are fuckwits. They either think you are children in which case they are too stupid to suffer or they treat everyone like children and are also too stupid to suffer. Other people might not enjoy such a golden opportunity to sort out the fuckwits from the fab. Other people will waste time on them, they may mistakenly befriend them, lend then money, give them food only to find in the end that they have been repeatedly mentally head-patted through the entire relationship without noticing until that moment when all is clear and they rebel, shouting, screaming and possibly murdering. Consider yourself lucky to live a charmed life.
14. CONCERTS. Everybody jumps at concerts, everybody stares at the back of peoples’ necks – it’s the way of things – there’s always a bigger fish, always someone taller.
15. MOVIES – ditto CONCERTS. (Seriously Huff chaps was there a burning need to reach 23?)
16. I have not stretched to reach the gas pedal since the 90’s – seriously, gals test drive before buy and then simply buy a car which fits. There is no struggle if you buy sensibly.
17. Name calling is only effective is you are open to it, if you somehow buy into their logic. If you don’t want to be affected by “short” insults, protect yourself mentally by UNsubscribing to the philosophy that your are less than “full” or “normal”.
18. If the problem is people think your head is an armrest, then problem is not your size it’s that people are treating you like crap. Deal with em or ditch em.
19. If you are paying attention whilst walking on the street, wayward hipbones and other hazards (cars, children with ice cones and angry seniors) are easily avoided. Seriously, look where you are going. If you genuinely cannot (urgent Tweeting etc) then swing your bag and if hipbones are on the horizon ask the oik to shift.
20. Subway rush hour is hell: a layers of smelly feet, a sandwich layer of armpit smell and top layer of smelly dog breath. Take your pick it’s ALL bad no matter your height.
21. Tall people’s arms go up and inevitably come down on your head. GIRLS! Stop standing so close to fuckwits!
22. Turnstiles aimed at your chest? Your kidding right? When you were a child you learned to use your….ARMS. PUSH!
23. Some people think it’s okay to talk to you bending down. Just bend down as if trying to see what they are looking for ..it really confuses them and makes you giggle. Life needs giggles! Consider it a sort of giggle donation – don’t forget to thank them!


Extraordinary in short (Fifty Words)


Can tiny equal righteous diva?

Only for a true believer

Not in glittering gold

But in your power to break the mould

Escape “This Season’s Must-Have” uniform

We’re not Borg Babe so ditch the norm

Brave the storm of your own chemistry

Find you are “Nothing Short of Extraordinary”


Love Me Buy Me Wear Me II

for  Daily Post Weekly Challenge: Fifty

Nothing Short of Extraordinary

Nothing Short of Extraordinary 001

How many times have you felt like a super-fab-ace-babe and/or righteous-woman-of-the-world, galloping to the brink of, dare I say, divaship and then you catch your reflection in a mirror and wallop – you are brought down to size, literally, The mirror is a cruel reminder of your short stature and the autopilot takes over: on cue all that lovely, bubbly confidence disappears.  You suddenly remember THE RULES:  short gals cannot ever really be taken seriously as Properly Grown Up, Good-Looking, Fashionable, Cool (and importantly) Tall Women. This deeply entrenched inner sanctum of female society is one to which all girls must strive (like Lemmings falling from the cliff top) to gain entry in order to be taken in any way seriously by other similarly properly grown-up, good-looking, fashionable, cool and tall people. Deflated, you realise that all that attention was merely morbid curiosity and all that laughter was at your expense: they were laughing at you not with you. They didn’t need any reminder that you only amount to a funny little Oompa Loompa. You sadly forgot in all your excitement. Ouch!

Life gets very frustrating. You know that inside you are a in fact a super fab ace babe and/or righteous woman of the world with GAZILLIONS of things to achieve and GAZILLIONS of awesome ideas but your confidence in expressing all of this stuff is obliterated by these blasted reminders of your fatal flaw: you’re too short to be all that….that super fab ace babe and/or righteous woman in your head.

Does all this sound familiar? Well if it does then you are like me, or rather you are like the old me; the way I used to be before I developed The Art of Smallwomanship – I turned all of this on its head and completely revolutionised my own thinking. Those frustrating thoughts don’t have a hold anymore. I do not live by fearing mirrors, pranksters or beautifully tall women – any reminders in fact. My focus has shifted to unleashing my authentic extraordinary self and I can tell you there is nothing so empowering and once it becomes a habit, it is self perpetuating almost addictive. Now I am going to show you how to do this. I am going to show you how to instigate and enjoy your own personal revolution and find your way to your own extraordinary life usingThe Art of Smallwomanship. It is there waiting inside you so read on at https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00J7SG8ZC … and LIVE!


Nothing Short of Extraordinary: The Art of Smallwomanship

Available on Amazon Kindle at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00J7SG8ZC


Angelina Jolie and the reinvention conundrum – what it means for female leadership.

Katy Brand’s article “It’s time to take Angelina Jolie seriously” for the Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/9959459/Its-time-to-take-Angelina-Jolie-seriously.html asks why people do not take Angelina Jolie seriously in her humanitarian role. The answer lies in leadership and this article explains why.

Folk will accept quite a bit from an actress: they will for the most part accept such oddities as wearing blood-filled vials and snogging your own brother as being, well, just a bit odd.  However,  when you do it on the red carpet it is seen for what it is: attention-seeking and your card is marked.  Still it’s not really a problem if you stick to marketing yourself as a performer because it is generally accepted that actors and actresses by their very nature need to seek the limelight and after all acting is attention-seeking, albeit in a controlled manner and at the behest of the film-making machine of directors, producers, consumer demand etc.   Indeed we completely forgive them this weakness so long as they come up with the performance as we sit down to escape the hum-drum of normal life by watching a fab film.  We also accept there is a need to show a bit of eccentricity to distinguish over the competition.  It gets your face in the Hollywood mags,  your name on a list even if not the A-list, and as long as your antics are on everyone’s lips you have the public interest which helps keep the work coming in and along it with the dosh.

You can reinvent yourself as a performer – repeatedly – without issue Madonna has done this ad infinitum and the huge commercial success of her Reinvention Tour shows we clearly ‘approve’  provided it’s all about the performance and there is no pretension that it is anything deeper.   You can also reinvent yourself as a brand image à la Cole: http://www.marieclaire.co.uk/news/beauty/541776/cheryl-cole-s-new-l-oreal-paris-beauty-campaign-revealed.html#index=1. Perfectly acceptable even if it is nothing more than hiking up the sales of a mega corporation.

What you cannot get away with, it seems, is any suggestion that there has been some reinvention of the person;  you are not allowed to ‘reinvent’ yourself as a humanitarian because this is something you either already are or not.  It is about your innate self and not something that you can become or that you or your PR team can create.  The vitriolic response to Angelina’s humanitarian efforts is peppered by assertions that she is basically a ‘bad person’ and therefore the humanitarian bit is a construct and therefore insincere.  But its easy to be distracted by quite frankly baseless allegations about someone’s character  – there is something else behind the anger, and like most things it all boils down to power.

The real problem for Angelina is the suggestion that she is reinventing herself as a female leader and in doing so she is res judicata: usurping her rightful i.e. low position in society.  In the big scheme of things, in our global tribe,  an actress is viewed as psychologically weak because of the need (albeit assumed) for the audience’s attention.  They can try to counter this by wearing geek-specs, only accepting “serious” acting jobs and brandishing The Portable Nietzsche but this doesn’t seem to bring in the dosh. On the other hand, if you are especially attention-seeking to the point of freakish antics, you are even further down low the pecking order.   That ranking then does not, it seems, sit well with the leadership role of humanitarian campaigner and UNHCR spokesperson.  Do not be fooled by the pseudo-leadership position achieved by Ms Jolie arising from her on-screen performance or her massive earnings: these only count under the floodlights and they are not viewed as true leadership facets.    So, whilst it is perfectly appropriate for Jolie to strut her stuff at a movie premiere, once she walks off the red carpet and into the wider arena she is ranked low: a moth-to-flame, glory-seeker.  Any attempt to assert leadership from this position is frowned on heavily by the media and public alike.   This is why her role as as spokesperson for the UNHCR has met with derision – because it is seen as a claim to a leadership role to which her critics feel she is not entitled.

However, the response has not itself been awash with leadership moments or humanitarian content for that matter.  Regardless of whether you agree her critics, it has not been pretty with the snipes and sneers more typically the behaviour of the runts of the pack than great leaders.  At a time when Sheryl Sandberg is asking us to Lean In what do some women do?  Engage in dominant, overly aggressive and quite frankly unpleasant jibes about some women we do not know.  In this sense, the bitchy comments made about Angelina say more about the authors than they do about her.

So remember, if you hurl insults this does not put you in a leadership position – it relegates you to the rank and file.   Lampooning is not what leadership is about.  And yes, if you out there on the front line getting involved in public debate be it a blog, forum or front page article, you really are putting yourself up as a kind of leader, like it or not.  Asking people to listen and follow your opinion IS leadership.  And whilst its a good thing that so many of us aspire to be leaders, let us succeed and not flounder at this.  Our quest should our own inner confidence, our own ability to be extraordinary woman and accepting and encouraging others around us to be likewise – not slagging off the latest sensation.   Our own leadership starts with cultivating our inner confidence instead of trying to cut someone else down.