When you’re short, you’re told by lots and lots of people–magazine people, people who think they know more than you, tall people, other short people–that shorties just can’t wear certain things.

“Oh, don’t roll your jeans like that,” they say. “It cuts off the line of your legs. My God, it makes you look even shorter, and I didn’t even think that was possible.”

They pose their opinions as “advice”, “fashion tips”, even “wisdom”. But ultimately, this type of discourse streams from the same vein that proposes that all women be Barbies, essentially. They tell us how to do our eye makeup to make our eyes look bigger, they tell us how to contour our faces to make our noses look smaller, how to accentuate our waists to make us look thinner. And shorties, they want to dress us to make us look taller.

Now, don’t get me wrong, looking taller than you are can be fun. It’s one of the reasons why women strap on five inch heels. I mean, who doesn’t want their legs to look miles long from time to time? But that’s just the thing; yes, it can be fun to look like something you’re not on occasion (ie. Halloween), but shorties, we are short, and it’s fine for us to look short.

In a sense, they’re trying to be kind. I mean, people have all kinds of vicious stereotypes for short women: we’re more fragile, we’re less capable, we’re somehow more feminine and breakable than tall women. Sadly though, in seeking to find us an escape route from these stereotypes, they’re really perpetuating them. The only way for short-women stereotypes to be broken is not to make all short women look taller–it’s for short women to get out there and be badass. In all honesty, I often revel in people’s surprise when I, a mere girl of 5’3″, whip out my frickin’ longbow that’s as tall as I am and start shooting (not like Katniss OR Merida, sadly theirs are shortbows).

So, short women, I have news: it’s okay for you to rock that oversized handbag. It’s okay for you to roll your jeans. You can opt for a bold pattern–of any size you want. Of course you should be aware of the visual effect that your clothes create on you, but in all seriousness, it’s your personal style, and it should be just that: personal.

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