sarah fullagar

I never thought I was short

The second time I met Ruth and Natasha was the day of Gok’s Body Confidence lesson outside parliament. Looking at a photo from the day you would be forgiven for thinking that they had borrowed one of the many teens present to pose with them. Mainly because I’m several inches shorter than them.

This paired with the fact that other frequent Body Gossipers including Nick and Jake are also really tall. (Though given that they’re male this is perhaps less surprising.)

It soon became a running joke; one which I had to admit was pretty funny. If I stayed with them I’d be given a small towel, or a morning cup of tea in a teeny tiny teacup (most frustrating was a single drop of wine in a small wine glass). I’ve had to stand on steps when taking photos of Ruth and Natasha to avoid an ‘under the chin’ shot. I am after all, as Tash pointed out in the Advent Calendar Christmas video, boob height.

The thing is, despite the jokes, I never thought I was short. Short by comparison, yes, but not short short. ‘But 5’5” is a perfectly respectable height’ I kept arguing, prompting the response ‘Yes Babes, but you’re not 5’5”.’

I was told I was that height aged around 16, and eight years on I had no problems with not having grown since. After all, that felt like a good enough height to be.

So imagine my delight when I walked into school last week (to teach- the aforementioned shortness isn’t being used as a ploy to retake my primary school years) and spied a free standing height measurer. Seeing this as an opportunity not to be missed I quickly passed my friends my phone and asked them to take photographic evidence. Just as I was explaining to a second (rather bemused) friend the reasons behind my apparent sudden interest in measurements she stopped me and said;

‘But Sarah, you’re not 5’5”’

‘I AM! 5’5” is 165cm’

‘Yes, and you’re 162cm.

For a moment I thought it was a joke, but sure enough they were telling the truth. Overnight I had lost over an inch, I felt robbed. The thing is, I knew I was shorter than most of team Body Gossip (OK- all of them), but had still considered myself a pretty good height overall. Of course the reality is that being shorter than I thought has not changed the person that I am, nor what I am capable of, or indeed my life thus far. But for some reason, I found myself in a thought process which included the ever so slightly dramatic ‘what does this mean?’

I couldn’t really tell you why, and you’ll be pleased to hear that this momentary overreaction was short lived. I have since come to the following conclusions…

If I was much taller I would be less likely to be cast playing a young teenager in my TIE work.

I am taller than my Mum but shorter than my little sister, thus making a rather satisfying backwards height scale.

I can now give people my accurate height measurement (You know, in case I ever had someone hold a gun to my head and yell ‘Tell me your height’.) 5’3.7”

I’m shorter than I thought, and MAYbe that’s ok.

Sarah X