Alexandria Fisher: 2012 Sacramento County Academic Decathlon Speech
I peered at myself in the mirror, finally satisfied with the face that looked back at me. My parents were taking me out for dinner that evening. I had bought myself and spent the entire evening doing my hair to assure that I would look flawless. and spent the entire evening doing my hair to assure that I would look flawless. for this special night. My family and I drove down town to the new fondu restaurant that was guaranteed to be excellent. The gentleman that he is, my dad opened the door for both me and my mom and we requested a table for three. The hostess looked me up and down and politedly asked, “Would you like a kids menu?” That was my 16th birthday. I’ve come to you today to discuss a serious yet unknown complex “little woman syndrome.” Known as “Napoleon Syndrome” in men, many petite women suffer from its myriad of symptoms, including bossiness aggressiveness, a need to control, and so much more. Standing at 4′ 11″, I myself am a afflicted with this condition. And every day I’m faced with new challenges for it. Reaching for items on high shelves, seeing past the tall — well average — man that sits in front of me at the theater, finding clothes that aren’t in the kiddie section, and shoes that don’t light up, and worst of all being called short. I’ve been called short shortie, fun size, midget, dwarf, mini-me, half-pint, small fry, and the list goes on! Upon meeting new people, you’d be surprised to know I come across the comment, “You’re short.” Thanks for letting me know, I had no idea. Why people feel the need to instantly label me because of my size, I’ll never quite understand. I’m more than my height. You wouldn’t walk up to a disabled person and say, “You’re in a wheelchair.” That would be rude. So why are they doing it to me? It seems that our society has bizarre rules on what’s okay to criticize and what isn’t. We’ve created this standard for normality that everything is compared to. We’ve decided that being tall is a positive attribute and being short just isn’t. On average, someone who is 6 feet tall earns $5,000 more per year than someone just a foot shorter. In the United States, 42 of our 44 presidents have been the taller candidate. Why is that? In creating this Adonis of perfection, we’ve decided that being tall is a positive attribute and being short just isn’t. If you’re short, tall, fat, skinny blue, green, or anything in between, I don’t care! It’s arbitrary. We establish value because we can. And for no reason other than that. It’s a strange thing, being considered different from everyone else. I don’t look down at my hands and think, “Gosh, they’re tiny.” Because for me they’re normal. It’s normal to have to scoot my seat all the way forward when I drive, for my feet to not touch the ground when I sit, My normal is different than other people’s, but I think that goes for everyone. My normal isn’t what’s normal for my sister. What’s normal for her isn’t what’s normal for her friend, and so forth. There is no true normal. And yet, we all strive for it. We all pray for something that doesn’t exist. We as people need to realize that we are different and that it’s okay. When I look in the mirror, it’s not my height I see. It’s me.