Turning a weakness into strength

All my life I have have been small. Short. Vertically challenged. Mini. Tiny. Call it whatever you want. I have had people come up to me in a crowd going -“OMG, you are SO SHORT, how tall are you?” or -“what’s wrong with you, why aren’t you taller?”, -“grow up”, -“didn’t your parents feed you when you were a kid?”. The fact is that I grew up in one of the richest countries in the word; Sweden and yes, my parents did feed me. It’s just that around age 11, I decided to stop eating. Or if I did eat, I immediately went and threw up. By the tender age of 12 I ended up in the hospital along with other kids that had mental problems (there wasn’t any eating disorder departments for anyone that young back then).

The road back to recovery was long and difficult, but my family was there for me and I couldn’t have asked for a better support system around me. Anyway, that isn’t what this blog is about, just some background to why I’m so darn short. I stopped growing around 11 years old. I’m 155cm if you need to know btw, that’s about 5 feet tall.

There isn’t really ANY advantages to be short. Concerts suck, random people often feel an urge to simply pick you up and swing you around, you need a pillow to sit on to drive most cars, clothes are not made for shorties like me. The only time I can thank the Universe for my size is when I travel as I fit everywhere and I always get the stinky eye when I can stretch my legs out all the way on an airplane. In coach.

But something magical happened yesterday; I was at the ClickAway Photo Conference in Salt Lake City watching Sue Bryce speak. Now, I have followed Sue for a couple of years and she has been one of the biggest inspirations and influences in my professional career. She’s my true north in photography and I was beside myself to see her in person. She was teaching posing and asked for volunteers. Now a person of my size typically isn’t ever a part of anything that has to do with modeling or posing but when I heard that she needed someone around 5 feet I raised my hand and for one of the VERY few times in my life, my height was to my advantage. I not only got to listen to her teach, I got to feel what it was like to be posed by the master poser herself. I have never learned so much in an hour and a half. Thank you Sue for including ALL women of ALL sizes!

Even though I was the compact-small example, I was somebody. And for the record, I do like to be called petite.

With Grace & Gratitude

~The Petite Swedish Vagabond~

I’m the little red one…..



One Comment on “Turning a weakness into strength

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