Tuesday, 17 November 2009


"I'm butters" said my teen.
Now I know I'm biased but my teenager is the most beautiful girl in the world. Bar none. Actually I'm not biased, this is pure fact.
"You are gorgeous" I say soothingly.
"No I'm not. I'm fat. And I'm short".
There's no point lying. She is short. But she's not fat. Not yet anyway. She probably will be later on, just like me. To be honest, I don't think I'm fat, but other people do. I look at all the women we are told we are supposed to look like and think 'Where's the rest of you?'. They look like half people.
She talks about the teasing at school, because of her height.
"Basically the deal here is that you aren't average. You want to be average. There's such an emphasis on being average, but it's boring." I say
I try to think of someone short, not too great looking but with such personality you don't even notice. I hit upon...
"Look at Danny Devito! He's short but I don't think he's ever turned in a bad performance" I tell her brightly.
"But has he got a girlfriend?"
"Yeah. He's married and everything" I say
The teen thinks for a bit.
"I expect that's cos he's famous. I'm not famous. No one is ever going to like me. I've been single for two years."
"You are 15! Someone is going to like you. Of course they are!"
"No never. No one's ever going to like me. I'll be a virgin when I die"
This conversation was provoked by the fact that she liked a boy. He seemed to like her. In fact she started liking him because she thought he liked her.
She thought they were close. He would text 'I love you'. Even today, when 'I love you' and relentless hugging is common currency between friends (not the seldom uttered tight-lipped words that slipped out by mistake, of my youth), texting that phrase to the opposite sex means something.
My teen talked to me about this as we drove...
"I didn't know what was going on, so I took the plunge and texted him: 'Are you into me?'" Tears trickled down her downy cheeks. "He said 'No. We are just friends'."
I recognised this feeling so well...
"I really hate that. When blokes you fancy just want to be your friend. When they flirt and confuse you." I commiserated. "They are power tripping"
"I know" she sniffed.
"I mean my attitude, in the words of Jayne County, is: 'If you don't wanna fuck me, fuck off'" I joked.
"Me too."
We drove in silence, bonded in mutual misery.


  1. It doesn't say much about me that this is the loveliest thing I've read in ages.

  2. Awww. Your daughter IS gorgeous. She is short, but definitely not fat. And that guy... maybe he's gay, or maybe he IS into her and didn't know what to say when put on the spot.

    Being short is not a terrible thing either, there are loads of short guys too. I'm only average height but as soon as I put on a pair of heels I tower over half the guys I meet, and most of my female friends too. And my short friends seem to have absolutely NO trouble meeting guys... me on the other hand, not so much.

  3. I wish I'd had a mummy like you!

    I am short/ petite/ whatever, and I spent all my teenage years wishing I was just a few inches taller and feeling very hard done by.

    Then in my early twenties, I came to London to do my MA and there was this perfectly stunning and statuesque young German woman in my year. She was over six feet tall, slim, impossibly graceful, with warm blonde hair, high cheekbones and long, elegant fingers (as well as a lovely person). I would just look at her and think "oh my God, you are the most stunning woman in the world." Standing next to her, I looked like a small brown - if admittedly quite glossy-maned - pony. The whole time I knew her, she never spoke of having a boyfriend, but I just assumed there must be one, or several, hovering in the background. How could boys fail but be transfixed by this Egyptian goddess of a creature?

    She had the most extraordinarily placid temperament, and I remember rehearsing a theory about how if you're that tall, you need to conserve energy just to keep all your vital systems going (whereas we short people, and terriers, have plenty of surplus energy to burn off in effervescence). But one day, she was looking decidedly melancholy, and I asked her what was up, and she revealed that she was fed up with being single, but that men wouldn't even look at her because she was so tall, and how she wished she was small and "feminine" (what? oh, never mind) like me! You could've knocked me down with a feather (well I did say I was small)!

    Boys-men-call-them-what-you-will do seem to like average. I think the perfect ratio is probably average height: average intelligence: big tits, actually. But really, that's their problem. The fact that they didn't flock at the feet of my friend B made me think less of them, rather than less of her, and I felt sorry for them that they were missing out on a catch like her just because their goggles were set to "medium".

    The lucky thing, however, about not appealing to those kind of men, is that... you don't appeal to average men. The ones who do pay attention tend to be exceptional or unusual in some way or other. And that makes life interesting for everyone involved!

  4. one day she'll learn that sex is a great leveller - we're all the same lying down, more or less. And any larger anomolies can make for good fun! being 15 sucks though. always has, always will.

  5. Oh, I'm so sad :(
    'Butters'! I don't think so!
    She is one of the prettiest faced and loveliest looking girls I've met in a long time (and I'm not just saying that).
    Yes, she's short, but she's gorgeous-faced and tiny, not fat. As is Kylie Minogue, which might be a better example than Danny de Vito on this sensitive occassion! It's hard being 15....

  6. I knoooow! So stupid the Danny Devito comment! Yes Kylie is more like it.

  7. I hope your teen feels better soon, Ms ML. It's a shame that we always judge our own looks by how closely they match imposed pre-established conventions. I personally am very attracted to short and chubby women! I hope there are plenty of womem out there who like large chubby bald guys. If there aren't then I'm not changing my appearence to "fit in"; life is not an election. As far as short girls go though Kylie is not really my type (Although I prefer her now to how she was in her Stock-Aitken-Waterman days... Just imagine what Bill Hicks would have said!)

  8. I am just speechless

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  9. Tell her the truth, there are guys who are into every kind of woman you can imagine (not to mention those that are into every kind of man, and vice versa for women).... some like redheads (okay so I like tall redheads...) and some like short brunettes, and some weirdoes even prefer blonds! So it isn't just a case of there being short guys too (although there are).... It just ain't a problem.... and as Tommy Tucker sang in "Long Tall Shorty" (the follow-up flop to his only hit single "High Heel Sneakers"): "I like 'em short, I like 'em tall, I like 'em round, I like 'em all, so when I die don't bury me deep, just put some women to my head and feet"... So all your teen needs to do is put her wig hat on her head, and bingo, she'll knock the right guy dead!

  10. That's right, Mr T. It's only Con-vention that tries to get us to feel insecure because we don't match up to a certain template.

  11. awww i was terminally single for years and years and years. at school i was short, skinny and flat-chested and in today's terms would be deemed FUGLY (boys actually ran away from me in 'kiss chase'). i think it worked in my favour. all those solitary nights spent in angst at home listening to morrissey and pouring my heart out to my diary. i escaped my shoddy backwater, backward town for the big smoke, got my dream job (thanks to my extensive music knowledge and honed writing skills), the love of my life found me was VERY late coming nearer to my thirties) live a peter pan lifestyle. and the boy who was my unrequited crush for nigh on 3 years turns up on facebook: squat, balding and working in accounts. life rewards in strange, strange ways.
    what i'm trying to say is, at the end of the day, what attracted my boy to me was not my youth or beauty (there were far prettier girls and far far younger girls flinging their pneumatic bodies at him on the night we met) but confidence, which i had from having brilliant friends and a good life. what made him fall in love with me was that i always knew and still know i don't need him, but i want him...knowing that i was the one that created my happiness and knowing that no one could take that away from me. i choose to have him because being with him enahces my life and makes me happier, a better person (and vice versa!). and that is sexy. and that is what matters.

    she'll be breaking hearts left right and centre, you just watch.

  12. Thanks for your comments.
    It is awful the way these girls put each other down.
    A facade of niceness (cool name btw) yes I'm sure of that too...and...she totally adores Morrissey


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