“You’re going to think this is silly, but I really hate the fact I’m so short. I’m just under 5ft and I’m fed up with the fact so many people treat me like a child because of my height. The stupid comments they make and the names they call me, like ‘titch’ and ‘squirt’, may seem funny to them, but they aren’t to me.
“I am quite sporty and like playing tennis, but in trainers I look tiny and then the remarks really start. At work I can wear very high heels and sharp suits which helps, and I have done quite well in the company. Having said that, some of the other supervisors do tend to talk down to me and fail to recognise I’m on the same grade as they are. I suppose I’ve got the reputation of being quite aggressive, because I’m always having to stand up for myself.
“One of the good things about having worked from home over the past few months is that no one can tell how short I am in video conferences. I think many of them have forgotten my height, and I’ve found there’s been less teasing and more respect when they can only see my face. The thing is, when this ends, I’m going to have to go back into the same environment and I’m dreading it.
“I’m 26 now, so there’s no chance of me growing naturally any more – but is there anything, medically or surgically, that can be done to make me taller? The thought of spending the rest of my life looking up to everyone makes me feel really depressed.”
“It seems unlikely that there is any medical reason why you’ve not grown any taller. That means any treatment that is done to you will probably be seen as ‘cosmetic’ and something you have to pay for.
“There are growth hormone drugs, but as far as I’m aware they are only used for specific circumstances for children. Trying to take any drugs of this nature without proper medical approval and supervision could be very dangerous. Surgery to encourage bone growth does exist – but again, this is only used in specific circumstances and sounds like a very lengthy, painful procedure. Not to mention very expensive if you were paying for it.
What I can suggest, is finding ways to work on your self-worth…
“But all of these points are things you would need to discuss with a fully qualified doctor. What I can suggest though, is finding ways to work on your self-worth and not let other people get to you. It sounds like you’re doing really well with your career and clearly have a lot going for you, plus you have hobbies you enjoy.
“I am sorry you’ve had to deal with teasing, and that it feels like some people talk down to you. That’s not silly at all. While you’ve been away from your colleagues and friends and they’ve only had to interact with via video, you say there has been less of this. It sounds like lockdown has been beneficial for you in this sense – so could you perhaps build on this to boost your own confidence about your height?
“If you had more confidence in yourself and rose above their teasing rather than reacting to it, they might give up. However, if it really is a big concern and these worries are causing you anxiety or it feels like they’re holding you back, could you consider speaking with a counsellor or confidence coach? It might help to have the chance to process all those feelings out loud.
“Keep in mind that being tall isn’t an automatic passport to the good life and happiness, either. I can tell you that many of the tall people I know would love to be your size – not least because it would make them less susceptible to back problems!
“There are always going to be people who are insensitive, but don’t let them get to you. Instead, concentrate on the positive things in your life, your friends, your family and your plans for the future. These are the things that bring true happiness to life – not how tall you are!”
If you have a problem you need help with, email Fiona by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org for advice. All letters are treated in complete confidence and, to protect this privacy, Fiona is unable to pass on your messages to other readers. Fiona regrets that she cannot enter into personal correspondence.