As a woman who stands at 5’3, I’m used to being the shortest one in the room.
When I was in Year 7, I recall preps being taller than me. I shrunk beside my peers as a small bean of a child with a school dress down to my ankles that my mother affirmed I would grow into.
Into my teens, being shorter and scrawny didn’t work in my favour and I experienced bullying. Short, small and shrinking.
Side note: How to improve your daughter's body image. Post continues below.
Only a few months ago, I was paying for petrol at a service station when the female cashier asked my age.
28, I told her. She immediately retorted, "But you’re so small!" and said her 13-year-old-daughter was taller than me.
She then asked, "What are you? A size zero or something?" I paid in silence but my mind ran a mile a minute.
Commenting on another person’s body is inappropriate – period – and yet it happens so often.
Even in professional circles, my height has been a talking point.
Before I left for the international Miss Universe competition, I spoke to the aspiring Miss Universe Australia 2021 contestants, and whilst nearly all of them were mindful of language, I overheard one saying, 'Aw, she’s so cute!' like I was a Pokémon.