When people look at me and try to guess my age, some will say I am 13, 11, or even 10. None of these guesses are even close. I am 22 years old, 5'1", 130 pounds, with the voice of a twelve year old. This is usually a disadvantage for me, because the world does not respect children, or those who look like children. All my life, I have been teased, ignored, and even attacked a few times because of my height.
If that is not bad enough, some people even mistake me for a dwarf. Let's get one thing straight: a dwarf is a person under four feet who looks like an adult, and probably has the same weight as an adult of average height. These people probably will never grow any taller. I have G.H.D.- Growth Hormone Deficiency, which means I am not growing as fast as I should be, because my endocrine system is malfunctioned. I used to take Protropin to make myself taller, but it did not do much good, meaning that I will probably not grow any taller. Even so, there is nothing wrong with being short.
However, I have often become discouraged, because with the oppression faced in the little life I have lived, it is unimaginable what the rest of my life will be like. This is what a simple name calling and harassment can do to a person. Whoever said, "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me," were wrong. Words hurt. They sometimes hurt more than any physical pain. A punch may bruise the surface of one's skin, but words go straight to the heart.
The worst parts are yet to be told. Plenty of short individuals like myself have been denied jobs because they are short, even if they are qualified for the job, and the company is hiring. The employer probably thinks that a person who is short is not strong enough to do a job correctly. They are not tall enough to look over the counter, or not mature enough to handle the responsibility of a job. When I was 16, I went to a popular hamburger chain to apply for a job. When I asked an employee for an application, he asked me how old I was. When I told him I was 16, he did not believe me. Even when I showed him my I.D., and my mother confirmed I was telling the truth, he still thought I was lying. When I kept asking him for an application, he would just repeat, "I still cannot believe you're 16." I did not get an application that day.
In every school handbook and on every application, it bears the famous quotation, "The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination because of one's race, creed, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual preference, age or handicap," but how come height is not mentioned in this as well? One may argue that Dwarfism, Giantism, and GHD are disabilities, but they are not. I am not receiving a check from the government, I have no diseases that keep me from working, and I can see, hear, talk, and walk properly. This discrimination is as constant as the other types of discrimination, but it is constantly being ignored. Why?
The Constitution states that all men are created equal, but are short men not considered men? Is height discrimination not as bad as any other discrimination? If height discrimination is wrong morally, then it should be wrong legally. The politicians in Washington should mention the rights of the aforementioned people in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and it is also time for our children to be taught to respect others, even those who are shorter than they are. This nation has to treat all kinds of discrimination as equally immoral, and do its best to get rid of them.