Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Something weird happened to me today. A woman that's a bit on the heavier side called me "shorty". It made me think that short people get made fun of all the time and it's okay, but making fun of someone's weight isn't politically correct and is not okay.

Now of course you'll say that there's a major difference between calling someone fat and calling someone short. True, there is... But is it because of society or is it because being overweight is worst?

Before you make up your mind and answer that question, let me share a couple of stories:

First one happened when I was twelve years old. I was the shortest guy in my class (in fact, the shortest person in my class for most of elementary school and high school) so I've always been teased about that. Now I'm 5'5" which isn't that bad, but still considered on the short side; in other words I'm looking up a lot of people's nostrils but there comes a time in your life when you accept yourself - I'm over it. Anyways, we were a group of students walking along when someone asked who Daniel was (me). The assistant teacher yelled out, in front of everyone, and pointed at me, "He's the short guy over there." and it kind of pissed me off. Unfortunately for her, she was overweight so I called back, in front of everyone, "and my assistant teacher is the fat woman over there."

I got in shit by the teacher, she didn't. I apologized because I genuinely regretted calling her fat as soon as I said it, but I was still angry. She didn't apologize to me because she said she had used it to point me out and didn't mean it to be rude. I had to apologize because the teacher said she was sensitive to her weight. Nevermind that teachers know the kind of teasing that goes on in the school yard (it doesn't matter what you have -braces, long hair, glasses, short, tall, fat, skinny, etc- you get made fun of) and that obviously I was made fun of because of my height. Maybe I was sensitive about my height.

The second story I want to share is a bit later, in high school. I used to hang out with this girl a lot and eventually started feeling like maybe I liked her more than friends. I think she finally figured this out, and one day we were riding back home on the bus, the last two people to get off and she started telling me how awesome I was; that I was good looking, I was funny, I had a good personality. Then she told me that unfortunately she wouldn't date me because I was too short and it would look weird.

Now don't get me wrong, I know there are some overweight people out there who have been teased a billion times more than I have because of my height. I know that there are some overweight people who have been told a billion times more often than I have that the person would have dated them if they were skinnier. The fact is that society can be pretty shitty and people can be really mean, and I am not trying to say that I had it any worst than anyone; if anything I have had it much easier. But another counter point is that I will never be able to do anything about my height; I can't get any taller. I'm a short guy for life. Also, women can wear heels to get a couple more inches in height, I can't do shit. When a women describes their perfect man, more times than not it's "tall and handsome". Of course you could say that most men would describe a perfect woman as "tall and skinny".

So what's the point of all of this? I guess it just struck me as funny that someone could call someone else shorty and everyone is fine with it but that if someone had said fatty it would have been a huge fucking deal.

The point is we should accept ourselves as we are, and people should stop mentioning and making fun of our short comings.

No pun intended.

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