If I had a nickel for everytime someone made a joke about my height or called me short, I’d be rich. And no, I won’t buy heels with that money. Body shaming is the act of making inappropriate and negative comments about another person’s weight or size. Size includes height. So yes, if you call someone’s height ‘funny’, then you’ve body shamed them – even if you think you haven’t.
While height jokes might sound funny to you, they might just affect someone’s confidence. I do not need people making me feel self-conscious when I’m comfortable in my own skin. Let me be.
Here are some things that people say to shorter people that are not funny but insensitive:
1. Oh, I didn’t see you from up here.
Telling a shorter person that they aren’t visible is just demeaning to them and their presence. Also no – you didn’t come up with the most original joke and this is definitely not funny.
2. You look like you’re 17.
Unlike most plants, that have indeterminate growth, humans do not grow in a similar pattern. So, while I’m ageing, that doesn’t mean that my height will constantly increase with it. If I look the same height as I did, it’s because that’s how it works. But, you can try and not be rude about it.
3. You look so cute when you shout.
If I’m trying to make a point and if that requires shouting – it already means that you’re the problem. Dismissing what a person has to say, no matter how important it is because you need to crack that one joke, is not acceptable. I have an opinion and there’s nothing cute about it.
4. Yeh kaam kaise karegi, itni chhoti si hai.
You cannot judge what a person is capable of, based on their height. My physical strength might just be greater than yours. Also, not all work requires getting things from the highest rack. Even if it does, I’ll use a stool. Sounds funny?
5. Teri mummy khana nahi deti?
I understand that nutrition impacts a person’s potential for height, but there’s also science involved – a person’s height is determined by the DNA sequence variants they have inherited. So no, it’s not the amount of food that I’m getting that has impacted my height.
6. Complan piya kar
Seriously, this is probably the oldest height joke and honestly, it doesn’t sound funny, not anymore. Again, I take the required amount of nutrients and bringing up an unfunny statement just to make someone feel bad is highly insensitive.
7. You can shop from the kids’ section.
In saying so, you’re mocking a person’s physical appearance, while also putting them down in front of more people. No, I’m not interested in the kids’ section because I grew up mentally, as well. But maybe, you’ll like the cartoons.
8. You are so small, we can fit you anywhere.
When you’re saying something like this, you’re just objectifying the person, which we all know is insensitive. I’m short, but I’m still a human. Maybe you can fit your perspective there.
9. Arrey, ye kiska bacha kho gaya?
When you laugh about or announce this in a group of people, you’re not only shaming someone for their physical appearance but also questioning their personality. This only makes your short friend feel bad about themselves, which they shouldn’t.
10. I can’t hear you from up here.
We know how sound travels and I know I’m loud enough to be audible. So maybe, bring your ear closer or be a better listener. Because, this isn’t funny, but dismissive.
I hope I’m loud and clear, from down here.